Worthing Football Club joint-boss Jon Meeney felt his side deserved more following their Sussex Senior Cup heartache at the Amex this evening.
Nathaniel Pinney got the only goal, while also getting sent off after picking up a second yellow late on, to fire National League South side Eastbourne Borough to a 1-0 final success.
Despite the defeat, Meeney felt on the basis of chances created his side could well have gone onto lift the trophy themselves.
He said: “I believe we should have won the game, if I’m being really ruthless.
“I can’t discard the performance, I’m really happy with that, we’ve gone toe-to-toe and matched them with commitment and hunger and in many other areas. I thought our mental organisation was good and a little more technical precision and composure it could have been a different story.
“It’s disappointing because we are all winners and I don’t like losing.
“I’m disappointed the players are disappointed because of the outcome and I felt we deserved more. However, we hold our heads up and go again in the Ryman Premier.”
Rebels were without influential Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Jordan Maguire-Drew in the final, missing with a ankle injury, while Worthing’s leading goalscorer this season Lloyd Dawes also missed out.
With both missing, Rebels struggled in front of goal at time in the final but Meeney had full confidence in his side going into the contest.
He added: “They are influential players and in other games we have had that clinical edge but as much as Jordan (Maguire-Drew) and Lloyd Dawes weren’t involved, I back those players who played tonight but it just wasn’t to be.”
Rebels joint boss Gary Elphick added: “The biggest thing coming into the game was that our performance was at a high level. We did that and pushed Eastbourne all the way and it was probably just our lack of finishing which let us down a little bit.
“Hats off to Eastbourne, they’ve come out winners and a bit of know-how from them towards the end just shows why they’re slightly above us in the league standings but I was delighted with our boys and it bodes well for the future.
“It’s frustrating, though, really. I think we had our fair share of play and chances. We should have been there or thereabouts but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
“I’m more positive than negative coming out of the game as it’s a great yardstick for us going into the new season.”
On the season overall, Elphick said: “It’s been unbelievable. Our first target was promotion, or just to get into the play-offs actually. To get promoted was incredible and that would have been the cherry on top tonight but unfortunately football isn’t fair sometimes and it wasn’t to be.”
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