Uppingham goalkeeper Tom Hubbard is sent off in Leicestershire Senior Cup defeat at Kirby Muxloe
Manager Ryan Hunnings felt his Uppingham Town team had done the club and the Peterborough League proud in their performance at higher level Kirby Muxloe on Tuesday night.
Town went down to a 3-2 defeat against their Midlands League Division One hosts in the Leicestershire Senior Cup clash.
However, they were forced to play more than 70 minutes of the first round clash with 10 men following the controversial dismissal of goalkeeper Tom Hubbard.
Hunnings admitted the Town camp had been 'absolutely livid' with the red-carding of the highly-rated goalkeeper - who was adjudged to have fouled a Kirby forward on the edge of the box - but was full of praise for how his charges responded.
He said: "Tom's come rushing out in a one-on-one and there's been the slightest of contacts right on the edge of the box. The ball also went miles past him and out of play.
"It was a tough one to take especially as they scored from the free-kick, but the lads responded and put in a proper shift.
"I couldn't fault any of them and we were worthy of taking the game to penalties because, despite having 10 men, it was very even and we played the same standard of football as a step six side.
"The club was very proud of the players. They did themselves and the Peterborough League very proud."
Kirby had started the stronger of the two sides but found themselves trailing when Town scored in their first attack after seven minutes.
Rob Forster had seen his effort bring a fine save out of the Kirby goalkeeper, but the on-rushing Callum O'Berg pounced on the follow-up to fire a first-time shot into the bottom corner.
Town now had their tails up and played some good football until a mix-up at the back saw the ball glance off a defender and into the forward's path where he was clipped by Hubbard.
Martin Turiccki took over the goalkeeping duties, but his first task was to pick the ball out of the net after George Bosworth blasted home the free-kick.
Parity lasted just two minutes through as Town quickly regained the lead when O'Berg bagged a brilliant goal after blasting home a fantastic volley from outside the area.
Kirby were back on level terms again seven minutes later through Andre Williams and then Callum Brown put them ahead just before half-time.
With Turiccki in fine form by making several super saves as stand-in goalkeeper, Town looked for a leveller after the break.
But the equaliser proved elusive as Kirby claimed a Rutland double following their extra-time success over Oakham United in the FA Vase this season.
Table-topping Town are back in Peterborough League Premier Division action on Saturday when they will be looking to maintain their four-point advantage at the helm in a tough trip to Parson Drove.
Oakham United - whose Senior Cup clash at Saffron Dynamo on Tuesday night was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch - have a rearranged match at league champions Moulton Harrox on Saturday.
More by this authorJames Bedford