Bridlington Town boss Gary Allanson felt the long journey to Sunderland RCA played a part in his side being caught cold in their FA Vase defeat at the weekend.
The Seasiders went behind after just a couple of minutes as they were slow out of the blocks after two-and-a-half hours on the bus heading to the North East.
Allanson said: “It was a long journey for us on a small, tight bus and I felt this was a big factor in the game as for the first 20 minutes we were all over the place and we conceded after only three minutes in what was a pulsating game filled with tension.
“We gradually got ourselves into the game and I felt we were the slightly better side and passed the ball better, they were direct and they had two good strikers whose movement was very good.
“The second half we were going up the slope but we coped really well, unfortunately we conceded a penalty in the last minute but James Hitchcock saved it brilliantly.
“Extra time was tense but another mistake gave them the lead, but again we came back and equalised and we were on top and could have taken the lead with two one-on-ones with their goalkeeper.
“They then got a free kick and they scored a fantastic goal in the top corner with five minutes to go.
Tom Fleming and Lewis Clarkson scored Town’s goals, but Michael Charlton, Jonathon Carr and James Armstrong sent the Northern League side through.
Allanson added: “Again the players were magnificent, Sunderland were a decent side who have beaten North Shields very recently and are sixth in the Northern League and were in really good form.
“We matched them in every department and should have won, especially in extra time where I felt we were on top. The players were absolutely gutted after the game. I think we all went through every emotion, before, during and after the game.
“I believe in these players 100%, they work their socks off and especially in these last two games where we have played very good opposition we are not far off.
“If we can cut the silly mistakes out and be more clinical and ruthless we will turn it round and have some success, we have the right players at the club and they want to play for the club.
“We need to react and stand up now and get some good results under our belts so we can build our confidence again.
“It was great to see so many of our supporters at the game, it was a long journey for them but they backed the players so thank for that and sorry we couldn’t get a win for them.”
Bridlington Town are at home to Pontefract Collieries tomorrow night (Tuesday), kick off 7:45pm.