LITTLEHAMPTON Town were “beaten by the better side” on the day according to their manager.
They lost 3-0 to Newport Pagnell Town in the FA Vase Final. Gary Flinn's side scored a lovely goal in the first half, before adding two more in the second to come out 3-0 victors.
Joint manager Mitchell Hand said despite their efforts, Newport Pagnell gained control of the match physically early on.
But despite the result, Hand said he was proud of his side who have seen tremendous success in all competitions this season.
The Marigolds won the Southern Combination Football League Premier at the end of April, as well as the Peter Bentley Cup. They are the first side in Sussex history to reach an FA Vase Final and they also have another cup final on Wednesday.
Hand told The Argus: “The aim of today was almost a celebration of this season, we have gone above and beyond of what anyone would have expected from us.
“On the day we were well-beaten by the better side, I can accept that. What we have spoken about in the dressing room is what we have created for the club from scratch is really special.
“I thought very early in the game they gained control of the game physically. Sometimes you have to accept you were beaten by the better side. I didn’t really think at any point we had control of the game which isn’t really like us.
“We didn’t look a goal threat. Our stats this season, we have scored loads but we didn’t look like scoring too often today. So it’s one of those days where it doesn’t quite go your way but again it hasn’t happened too many times this season.
“To come away from here with our tails between our legs wouldn’t be right, we will celebrate what has been an unbelievable and historic season for the club. We will try keep our heads up and we have another final on Wednesday.”
Littlehampton Town will be competing in the Isthmian South next season, the first time they have ever been in the eighth tier.
Hand added: “We will go up and up hopefully. It will be the highest level the club has ever competed at. That’s a proud feat in itself. To be the first Sussex club to get to a competitive Vase final is really special.
“I said to the boys this is a one per cent day, one per cent of non-league players will get the chance to play at Wembley and we’ve had that so we can’t complain.”