Steve Fallon said Soham Town Rangers ‘done themselves proud’ after a narrow 2-1 Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup final defeat.
Rangers took on Southern League Premier Division side Cambridge City looking to defend the title they won 12 months ago.
But despite Marcus Hall getting Soham back on level terms on 55 minutes, City regained the lead on the hour mark to lift the trophy.
“In the second-half we did well,” said Fallon. “We had Luke Stanley out so we knew we were going to be short.
“Overall I was pleased with the performance from the young lads.
“They done themselves proud and hopefully they can take that performance into next season.”
Josh Dawkin gave Soham’s higher-placed opponents the lead after 21 minutes, before Hall fired home shortly after the restart to give Fallon’s side hope of retaining the trophy.
However Andrew Phillips was on target five minutes later, which proved to be the winner at Cambridge United’s R Costings Abbey Stadium.
“We’ve done much better than I had anticipated this season,” said the Rangers boss.
“We had a poor pre-season and had to rebuild. But we were up there for a while and have eventually finished where we deserve to finish.
“Losing David Prada earlier in the season was a big blow and we’ve had to overcome that.”
Soham (11th) finish their Ryman League Division One North season at home to promotion-contenders AFC Sudbury (third) on Saturday (3pm), with Andy Palmer and Ryan Sharman both doubtful.
“I don’t know how they (Sudbury) will play it,” said Fallon. “They’re guaranteed third place now so they might use it to try different things out before the play-offs.”
n Newmarket Town face a tough test if they are to keep their unbeaten run going, as they host champions Norwich United on Saturday (3pm).
Kevin Grainger’s side are currently sixth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, with goal difference now separating them from a top five finish after Saturday’s 2-1 win at Walsham-le-Willows.
Ross Paterson and Steve Holder were on target for the Jockeys as they recorded their first away win of 2015.
n Mildenhall Town (11th) could do Newmarket a favour when they travel to fifth-placed Felixstowe and Walton United on Saturday (3pm).
Matthew Green was on target for the Hall in their 1-1 draw with Haverhill Rovers at the weekend.
n Ely City (20th) host Stanway Rovers on Saturday (3pm) looking for a third consecutive home win.
The Robins drew 1-1 with Diss Town at the weekend courtesy of a goal from Alex Knowles.