Alton manager Kevin Adair praised his side's performance in Tuesday night's 3-0 defeat against Badshot Lea in the Aldershot Senior Cup semi-finals.
Badshot Lea co-manager Gavin Smith had admitted that Alton were the better side, and Adair was pleased with his side's efforts.
"It's difficult when you lose a game 3-0 to tell people that you were happy with the level of performance, but for 55 minutes we matched them and may even have edged it," said Adair.
The Brewers were reduced to ten men on 67 minutes for an off-the-ball incident when the score was 1-0, and Adair felt that proved to be a pivotal moment.
"The sending off probably changes the game," he said. "We've got nine injuries and we've got lads playing with knocks, so we're struggling.
"To go down to ten men made it hard. They're a side that move the ball well – they exposed us and we conceded a couple of goals.
"The first goal in the game came from a set piece, which is poor to concede, but they're big and they've got aerially ability.
"It's hard to take because I want to tell the players to be happy with what they've done in terms of what they were asked to do.
"Badshot Lea are a good side and that's the level we want to be at, but I don't think we were far away from them for 55 minutes."