Brighouse Town chairman Ray McLaughlin said the club leave former Football League club Stockport County with their heads held high despite going down 1-0 in the FA Cup second qualifying round.
Town, who were playing in the biggest game in their history, didn’t look out of place against their opposition from a higher division and left Edgley Park with Stockport fans and directors waxing lyrical about the away team’s performance.
Despite dominating the first half and much of the second half, Town eventually went down to a 66th-minute wonder strike from County full back Kyle Jacobs. But Town chairman McLaughlin said he was proud of his players, staff and supporters - of which there were nearly 300.
“I Can’t tell you how good we were. We were absolutely fantastic. We started off absolutely brilliantly and made about three or four chances in the first half, but just didn’t take them,” he said.
“Although the second half was more even, we still more than held our own. But then we went down to an absolute wonder goal on the 66th minute when their full back smashed one in the top corner from about 35 yards.
“In the last five minutes we were throwing everything at them - even our keeper came up - but we just couldn’t get the equaliser.”
Despite the defeat, McLaughlin was positive about the day as a whole and praised the Stockport fans and directors for their fantastic hospitality.
“It was an absolute fantastic day. We have had 250 to 300 fans here and nobody froze on the day. I’m just so proud of everyone involved. We have really enjoyed ourselves today and the lads have done us proud.”
Although the defeat means Town won’t receive any prize money, McLaughlin was hoping that a crowd of 1,704 would mean that the Dual Seal Stadium club would receive a few thousand pounds from split gate receipts.