Sleaford Town’s clash against UCL Premier Division leaders AFC Rushden and Diamonds ended in defeat on Saturday, but assistant manager Terry Fleming said the team could leave with their ‘heads held high’.
Town lost 3-0 away in the tie, which saw them taking on opposition ranked 15 places higher than them in the table.
Despite this, Town held their hosts for much of the first half, conceding shortly before the break.
Fleming said: “I thought we were matching the league leaders stride for stride in the first half. We just got done by probably a little bit of quality for their first goal - a good cross and a good header.”
Fleming said Town’s form was not as strong in the second half, but said it remained a ‘tight game’ in his view. He put Diamonds’ victory down to ‘extra quality in the final third’.
He said: “I think the scoreline flattered them a bit.”
He added: “I think we can walk away from there with our heads held high. It wasn’t a three-goal comfortable win for them by any means.”
Town’s next clash is against Thurnby Nirvana at home on Saturday. When the teams played each other at Thurnby’s ground earlier in the season the tie finished 7-3 to the hosts.
Fleming said Town would be adopting a ‘more compact’ approach on Saturday to put on a stronger show defensively.