Boss Dave Frecklington is taking the positives out of Matlock Town’s defeat to Alfreton Town in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.
Town chucked away a 2-1 half-time lead to exit the competition after a 4-2 defeat.
“I can never question the effort, commitment and determination these guys show every time they put on a shirt,” Frecklington said.
“They took all of the setbacks on the chin with the injuries before and during the game, Michael Hollingsworth having to slot in at right back after Greg (Tempest) was injured and finishing the game with nine men with both centre halves off the pitch.
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“We were the better team in the first half, it could have been 3-1 at half time.
“Alfreton obviously had a good chat at half time but if you take Reece Styche out of that side it would have been a closer outcome.
“In the end it was always going to be a struggle with a 16 year-old on, Nathan Clarke did very well when he came on.
“The refereeing was questionable for both sides, this referee officiates at a level above both us and Alfreton, but they don’t understand this level of football and a tackle at this level is different to that in the Conference and Football League.
“It would have been better if a referee at this level had taken charge although I’ve no complaints with Adam Yates’ sending off, it was a straight red.”