Tony Gold, the manager of London Lions, was proud of his team as the holders bowed out of the Herts Centenary Cup at the quarter-final stage, going down 3-2 at London Colney.
The Lions dominated possession in a game they came from behind to lead 2-1 before Colney hit back late on.
Good work from Dean Nyman and Matt Stock set up Andy Glynne for the equaliser. Glynne scored his and Lions' second 20 minutes from time, but two late strikes took the game away from the Lions.
Gold said: "My players can be very proud of the way they performed. They put in one of the best team displays I have seen from a Lions team in many years. The result in no way reflects the performance, but this is cup football and it can be cruel.
"It is easy to see why London Colney have been unbeaten for so long. They have a strong belief that a game is still winnable even in the last few seconds."
Gold has now challenged his team to finish as high up the Spartan South Midlands League Division One table as possible. "If the players continue to play like that, we have every chance of finishing second."
Another four-goal salvo from skipper Nick Goodman saw London Lions reserves record their 10th victory in a row as they beat Welwyn Garden City 6-1 in the SSML Reserve League.