‘I’m at rock bottom – it’s heart-breaking’ – US Portsmouth captain Tom Jeffes on his side’s FA Vase semi-final penalty shoot-out agony
Captain Tom Jeffes spoke of his 'pride' in US Portsmouth's amazing FA Vase journey - but admitted to being left 'heartbroken' as they fell just short of a dream Wembley final.
USP's incredible run in the competition finally came to an end as Binfield claimed a semi-final triumph at the Victory Stadium, running out 4-3 penalty victors.
Skipper Jeffes conceded defeat was even tougher to take considering they were leading 1-0 - thanks to James Franklyn's 21st-minute opener - until Liam Ferdinand's leveller 10 minutes from time forced penalties.
There was also the fact US Portsmouth took the initiative in the shoot-out before misses from Cameron Quirke and Jack Chandler proved costly.
Jeffes said he could not have been more proud of everyone at the club, from the players to the management staff and those behind the scenes, but, ultimately, was devastated at the way their Wembley dream died.
Speaking shortly after the penalty loss, Jeffes said: 'The overriding factor with the run is pride, but if you ask me where I'm at now, I'm at rock bottom - it's heartbreaking.
'Penalties is heart-breaking on a Tuesday night in the Wessex Cup first round, let alone an FA Vase semi-final.
'Maybe it just wasn't meant to be today, we were ahead in the game, ahead on penalties and such small margins in big games.
'The boys gave everything, I'm so proud of the team, the management and everyone behind the scenes.
'It meant so much to the club and I'm gutted at how close we've come.
'I know everyone says you need to be proud of what you've achieved; for me, the pride comes later in time.'