BANGOR City put in a valiant effort before suffering a 2-1 extra time defeat to champions The News Saints in the JD Welsh Cup.
The Citizens bowed out of the competition at the quarter final stage, although they ran the all-conquering side very close despite playing a part of the clash with 10-men.
Manager Ian Dawes praised both his players and the travelling fans for their efforts, and City will look to make ground on the WPL top three when they look for revenge on TNS in the same fixture this Saturday (5.15pm).
He said: “Other than the result the players can be very proud of their performance and so can the fans. It felt like a home game for the entire contest and they were great.
“I thought the attitude and application of every one of our players today was first class, and they were outstanding in difficult circumstances.
“A performance like today shows just how far we have come and we know that we have nothing to fear going forward.
“I think they (TNS) will admit that they needed to get a lucky break to beat us today, and they were fortunate to get what we didn’t all through the game.”
City stopper Connor Roberts was in fine form early on to keep out Aeron Edwards and Scott Quigley, while home custodian Harrison had to be at his best to deny Gary Taylor Fletcher early in the second period.
Things took a sour turn for the visitors when Yannick Baio was given his marching orders for two yellows in quick succession on 86 minutes, but despite consistent pressure they remained resolute to force extra time.
The Citizens took an unlikely lead on 94 minutes when the in-form Henry Jones broke clear to find the net in confident fashion.
An injury to Rodrigo Branco hampered Dawes’ side even further shortly after, and they were pegged back almost immediately when Greg Draper finished well.
The tie was settled four minutes from time when Adrian Cieslewicz rounded off an impressive team move to condemn the away side to an unfortunate defeat.