Bob Paine hailed the effort from his East Preston Football Club players’ after they exited the Sussex Senior Cup last night.
A second-half brace from Ryan Longman and Max Sanders’ extra-time effort saw Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23 team come from two goals down to seal a 3-2 second-round triumph at The Lashmar.
A goal late in the first 45 minutes from Jack Barnes and Dan Huet’s header soon after the restart had fired East Preston in to a surprise 2-0 lead.
Albion came back, winning it after extra-time in the end, but EP boss Paine came away with immense pride.
He said: “I could not have been any prouder coming away from the game. My players gave everything – I could not have asked for anything more from them.
“All I asked before the game was that we gave it everything, which is exactly what we did. It’s crazy to think we’ve played an age-group team from a Premier League club and we’re disappointed we’ve not come away winning it.
“What we’ve done is show a lot of people what we are capable of, which we now must maintain in the league.”