Broadbridge Heath manager Steve Painter felt his players did the club proud despite their Sussex Senior Cup exit on Wednesday night.
The Bears lost out on a place in the quarter-finals as they were beat 1-0 by Ryman League Premier Division outfit Burgess Hill.
The match, originally due to take place at the Leisure Centre, was switched to The Green Elephants Stadium after two previous postponements.
Dan Perry’s 48th-minute goal on his return to Hillians after a loan spell at Peacehaven separated the two sides and saw the hosts go through to face Bognor.
Painter, however, felt his side more than match their opponents, who play two division above them.
He said: “Every player that played for us did very well and I was proud of them. For Broadbridge Heath, it shows how far we have come.
“We could have gone down there and rolled over, but credit to Burgess Hill as well as there was no, ‘oh we are two leagues above you’, and the manager come up to us after the game and was really complimentary - that bodes well as we want a bit of credit.
“At the end of the day, we matched them in every department. They had a bit more quality but that is what you would expect.
“We did get beat and no-one wants to lose, but if you are going to get beat, you want it to be in that sort of manner.
“If we play like that from now until the end of the season, then we will surprise a few.”
The Heath manager revealed did feel slightly hard done by with the goal, but preferred to concentrate on the plus points from their display.
He added: “It was probably right up there with the top performance I have had out of any Broadbridge Heath side.
“I thought we were really good and their manager came up to us after and said he thought we deserved something, but obviously they are a good side.
“To be fair to our lads, the goal was a bit scrappy. It was chucking it down with rain and Michael Chester tried to catch it and perhaps he could have pushed it around the post.
“I’m not blaming Michael though as he was brilliant and made another point-blank save, but maybe in hindsight, he’ll say that as well. It then came back off the post and was put away, but the original shot was offside as well.
“You could look back and say it was harsh, but you can’t blame officials, you have got to look at the positives. Going into it we were massive underdogs, but on the balance of play you would have said the sides were even.
“First half, they put us under lots of pressure, but second half, if anyone did, we had the better opportunities. After they scored early, I thought we were the better side. They defended although it just did not drop for us.”
Heath travel to Lancing on Saturday for their first match on the 3G surface at Culver Road.
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