Housham proud despite agonising FA Cup defeat for Gainsborough Trinity
A buoyant Steve Housham watched his injury-ravaged side almost upset the odds before falling to an extra-time defeat at Chester FC on Tuesday night.
With just one fit striker available and after being handed a tough FA Cup draw against in-form Chester, Housham says he could have asked no more of his players as they narrowly missed out on a place in the third qualifying round.
Housham was forced into a drastic reshuffle ahead of the second qualifying round replay.
With on-trial frontman Dominic Knowles his only option up front due to injuries to Paul Connor, Darryn Stamp and Bradley Barraclough, Housham said his squad could hold their heads high after a performance which almost ended with a shock victory at the Deva Stadium.
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"Chester are a team who are absolutely flying and we went to their place with an under-strength squad and totally matched them," he said.
"They had hit six goals past Stalybridge in their previous game and were full of confidence, but I thought we were equal to them over both of our matches.
"I had one striker available in Dominic Knowles and I thought he was superb.
"It is tough to play up there on your own but he battled away and was so close to winning it for us at the end of normal time.
"He did everything right and his shot almost squirmed under their keeper, but he managed to hold on to it.
"Of course it is disappointing to be out of the FA Cup, but I cannot fault the players.
"If we can continue to play with that kind of pride and passion in our league games, we will be pushing for promotion again."
At 1-0 down Trinity appeared to be out of it with two minutes remaining. But Jamie Yates fired in a 25-yard screamer to send the game into extra-time.
Knowles almost added a shock winner, but it was left to the home side to claim the spoils in the second half of extra-time.
Trinity have no fixture this Saturday, but Housham says no-one will have the day off.
"We will be training on Thursday night and on Saturday we will try and sort out a training game between ourselves.
"It will be good for Knowles and Liam Henderson (on loan from York City) to have some game time together, as we don't really know when the other three will be fit to return.
"All of them are deep into their rehabilitation, but we don't yet know if any of them will be available for the Droylsden game (on October 13)."
Trinity's county derby at Boston United has been rearranged for Tuesday, November 6.