Chichester City chairman Brent Williams has hailed his side for a “big effort” – despite the Lillywhites going down in the last 32 of the FA Vase.
Chi had equalled the club’s best-ever performance in the national competition by reaching the fourth round.
More than 250 people crammed in to Oaklands Park last weekend to see if Miles Rutherford’s side could be history-makers against Devon-based Buckland Athletic.
Sadly it was not to be, with Chi going down 3-1 to the Western League Premier side.
Tricky winger Llloyd Gardner opened the scoring for Buckland on 15 minutes – surging down the left-hand side and unleashing a superb shot from 25 yards that flew into the top corner of Chichester’s net.
The lead was doubled just after the half hour when Jared Lewington rounded off a fierce counter attack, firing past David Hook.
The home side gave themselves a lifeline on the hour mark when a beautifully-floated cross to the far post was headed in by Scott Jones.
But Buckland restored their two-goal advantage on 78 minutes when Lewington scored his second by hitting home a rebounded shot.
After the match, chairman Williams hailed all at the club for making the match such a memorable occasion.
Defeat means Chi now can focus on the SCFL Premier.
With just one defeat all season, Rutherford’s side sit third, eight points behind runaway leaders Shoreham, albeit with a game in hand.
Next up for Chi is Peacehaven and Telscombe at Oaklands Park tomorrow (3pm).
The visitors, who are much changed from when they were in Ryman South last season, sit sixth bottom and are without a win in four.
Those at Chi will be keen to ensure there is no Vase hangover to stop the home side from continuing an unbeaten league run stretching back to the start of September.