Jamie Harney cut a distraught figure after the West Ham United Under-18s suffered FA Youth Cup heartache against Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night.
The Hammers were knocked out of the competition by virtue of a 2-1 defeat at the Store First Stadium, with the winning goal coming five minutes before the end of extra-time.
Harney himself had equalised for the visitors two minutes into the five added on at the end of normal time to force the extra 30 minutes and revealed his disappointment at the defeat.
He told West Ham TV: "Everyone's heartbroken. It wasn't our best performance but we gave everything we could.
"I know some individuals feel as though they didn't perform to their highest but we dug in and tried to scrape a result but unfortunately they got a bit of luck with a chance towards the end and finished it.
"We have to move on, it's a big learning curve for the lads and hopefully we won't feel like this too many times in our careers."
The defender's header cancelled out Accrington's opener goal, which came after 49 minutes from Nathan Webb, and stung the Hammers into action.
Once Harney had drawn his team level, there only looked like there would be one winner in extra-time and that view was shared by the centre-back.
"One hundred per cent, I thought that was the deadlock broken and I thought everyone was going to get a lift. Extra-time came and we were brilliant in extra-time, we really were.
"We had chance after chance and should have scored with a few of them but it's one of those games. It was a cup game and they got one chance in extra-time to finish it.
"I have to hold my hands up and say 'Well done' to Accrington Stanley. They played their hearts out, so well done to them."
The third round defeat came as a shock to Harney and his team-mates, but he believes they will learn some valuable lessons from the loss and come back stronger.
"In your career you might play in those sorts of atmospheres. We were obviously going into the game as favourites and I think we should have dealt with it better.
"I think the occasion might have got to some people but, then again, we should be able to deal with it and hopefully get results. A lot of people will take it on the chin and hopefully they can learn from it.
"It was absolutely devastating but we have to learn from it and just keep going continue with the rest of the season and keep doing well in the league. Hopefully we can put this behind us and learn from it, that's the main thing for us."
Next up for Steve Potts' side is a Barclays U18 Premier League home match against Leicester City on 21 December and the defender has already turned his attentions to that game.
"I think we have to look back on it with the coaches at what we did wrong. We did do a lot of good stuff tonight but we just have to look for areas of improvement.
"We'll get back on the training pitch, get back on it, get the lads going again and we've got a league game against Leicester on 21 December so we'll get back at it and try and keep the unbeaten run going."