West Ham United Ladies manager Julia Setford was beaten but not bowed following Thursday's heart-breaking Essex FA County Cup final penalty shootout defeat by Colchester United.
The Hammers battled back from a one-goal half-time deficit to storm into the lead, only for a late equaliser to take the tie into extra time. After 30 further goalless minutes, the final went to penalties, with Colchester prevailing 4-2 on spot-kicks.
Setford was naturally disappointed, but rightly proud of her players' efforts against their biggest rivals and FA Women's Premier League Southern Division leaders.
"We didn't play too well in the first ten minutes but then we got into our stride," said the manager, who also acts as the club's chairman. "We went in 1-0 down but I knew we could come back from that, it wasn't a problem.
"We had a good chat at half-time and put things right and made a few changes. After that we went at them and dominated the rest of the game. Becky got a great goal 12 seconds into the second half and then we got another one. For their second goal, a shot got blocked and it just dropped to them.
"After that, we still dominated but couldn't put the game to rest. It went to penalties and they are just a lottery. We were just unlucky we lost out in the shootout."
The Ladies stuck together during the penalty shootout
For the hundreds of spectators who attended the final at AFC Hornchurch - including Joint Chairman David Gold - the standard and pace of the game were something to behold.
Both teams showed great technical ability and fitness levels, with the players still going at full-tilt deep into extra time. To cap an enthralling evening, West Ham forward Becky Merritt scored an individual goal of such high quality that it would have graced any level of football anywhere in the world.
While her team were ultimately beaten, Setford was happy with the performance put on by her players.
"When these two teams get together there is always a good rivalry. The tempo and the pace that the game can be played at by these girls shows how far women's football has come. Anyone who turned up I can guarantee will have gone away having enjoyed it."
The Ladies cannot afford to mope after Thursday's heartache. They welcome Coventry City to Ship Lane, Thurrock, on Sunday afternoon - 2pm kick-off - for an FA Women's Premier League Cup quarter-final.
"We've got to pick ourselves up and hopefully that one won't go to extra time! We want to try and win that one in the 90 minutes. I know my girls and they will dig in and work hard and hopefully we can get through to the semi-finals and move on from there."