CHESTER manager Calum McIntyre apologised to the club's supporters after exiting the Emirates FA Cup at the first round to York City.
McIntyre enthused his pride for his Chester players after a narrow 2-1 defeat to York at the LNER Community Stadium on Tuesday night, seeing City progress to the second round for their television tie with Wigan Athletic.
The Seals manager felt York were 'twitchy' towards the end of the second half, and praised City shot-stopper David Stockdale after another crucial save in the 68th minute.
"First and foremost, my apologies to our supporters and to our football club that we couldn't progress one further in the competition," McIntyre told the Chester media team.
"That's as the manager of this football team, there were big rewards and people will look at what we've missed out on and quite understandably, we're absolutely gutted at that.
"We're very, very proud of the football team tonight and in the initial game, and to be fair in the FA Cup run we have done something that has alluded us, to reach the FA Cup proper.
"To see us in that draw for the first round and again in the hat for the second, it was just reminding people that we are still here and we really believe in what we're doing.
"The overwhelming message from me is absolute pride in what we have achieved in our cup run, I'm just gutted we couldn't go that one step further.
"There was a recognition of what those players have done tonight.
"I'm very, very proud of the players, very, very proud of the football club this evening and I am very, very proud to be manager of Chester Football Club.
"We felt they troubled us with constant attacking phases in the first game, so we felt that they would pin us in with three forward players, one number nine and two number tens, but it was two number nines and one number ten tonight with two wing-backs.
"By keeping too high up the pitch, when you concede after four minutes or so from a set-piece, it's really difficult.
"You're ultimately trying to contain and go to the game.
"There's loads to analyse, nobody will be stupid enough to criticise our goalkeeper, he's been phenomenal since he came to the football club and has applied himself.
"We might have had York on the ropes for a little bit in that second half, because it certainly got a little bit twitchy next to me!
"Chances, balls going across the box, the one that comes out and goes wide after their goalkeeper spills one.
"Without over-analysing, there's a goalkeeper who has played in the Premier League that has made two saves, one in the first game and one in this game that has fundamentally made the difference.
"I think if that's your National League North goalkeepers, they don't keep that out."