Dave Frecklington was left dejected but proud of his Gainsborough Trinity players after their dramatic FA Trophy exit at Spennymoor Town on Tuesday night.
Trinity lost 5-3 on penalties following an incredible 4-4 draw over 120 minutes.
And having recovered well from the 4-0 loss to Blyth Spartans at the weekend, Frecklington gave his players credit for fighting so hard.
He said: "Firstly, it was a great response to Saturday's performance. We earned the right to play and were excellent, especially in the first-half when I felt we played some of the best football so far this season.
"We've come to a very good side and given them a run for their money. Some of our play was outstanding."
The whole Trinity squad put considerable shifts in to try and secure a passage through, Ashley Worsfold scoring twice with Curtis Bateson and an Alex Simmons strike in extra-time getting the other goals.
Frecklington said: "Ash ran himself into the ground and Brad Wells was excellent too in his first game back after his loan spell and his two assists tonight were top drawer.
"Those that had questioned our heart, desire and team spirit before this game have now seen that we have those things in abundance. Two performances have hurt us this year, those against Alfreton and then Blyth on Saturday, but otherwise we shouldn't be underestimated.
"So overall, away from the result, it was a pleasing night as we needed to prove a few things after Saturday and did so. We've not lost back-to-back games for a while now and can use this to kick on ahead of a massive six-pointer against Nuneaton on Saturday."