Northampton Town joint-managers Lou Barry and Josh Oldfield were full of praise after their side’s historic Vitality Women’s FA Cup run came to an end with a 4-2 defeat after extra time away to Lincoln City in the third round on Sunday.
The Cobblers came from behind to draw level at half time, but the Imps scored a late equaliser after the visitors turned the game around.
Two goals in extra time decided the tie in favour of the hosts, who are second in the FA Women’s National League Division One Midlands, the league above Barry and Oldfield’s side.
Speaking after the match, Oldfield said: “The girls gave absolutely everything and they took the game to a team in a higher division.
“We were 30 seconds away from taking a step into the next round.
“It got away from us a little bit in extra time because we were visibly tired.
“However, that doesn’t take anything away from the character and determination they gave us for 120 minutes.
“The outcomes of this cup run will be big, and we’ve had exposure that we didn’t have previously.
“We’ve shown that we can compete with teams in the league above.”
Barry and Oldfield’s side play their first East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division match in over two months and their first home game since mid-November when they host Notts County next week.
A win against their mid-table opponents will continue the Cobblers’ perfect start to the season as they look to regain top spot.
Barry added: “We can’t wait and we’ve said throughout the cup run that the league is our priority.
“We have 24 hours to be down before we’ll get straight back at it.
“It’s a huge game and it could be a massive three points because we want to win the league.”