Fareham Town manager Matt Parr praised his young guns despite their 3-0 exit from the FA Vase at Downton.
The injury-ravaged Reds were forced to field a side full of teenagers and Parr was proud of the way they played.
‘We had an incredible 14 senior players out injured,’ said the boss.
‘Our side contained eight teenagers and four or five of those were only 16-years-old.
‘They were excellent and gave it a good crack.
‘I sat them down in the changing room afterwards and told them how proud I was of them.
‘It is a big step up and a huge challenge but they gave it their all.
‘We just lacked that little bit of experience and quality but it was a superb effort.’
The Reds fell behind after 15 minutes when goalkeeper Luke Douglas was beaten by a spectacular effort from outside the penalty area.
Skipper Douglas excelled himself with a fine penalty save after Ollie Warren was adjudged to have handled in the box.
Douglas dived to his left to keep the spot-kick out.
The hosts increased their lead on the stroke of half-time with a superb strike from a free-kick.
Fareham couldn’t find a way back into the game in the second half and Downton secured their passage with a third goal.
‘With these youngsters at the club the future looks very bright,’ said Parr.
Fareham host Winchester Castle in the Russel-Cotes Cup on Wednesday night.