Perry Northeast felt Pompey Ladies put on a good show in their 2-0 defeat to Super League Notts County in the FA Cup on Sunday.
England internationals Sophie Bradley and Jess Clarke hit second-half goals to send the Magpies into the semi-finals.
That came in front of a crowd of 403 at Privett Park.
It was a great occasion for Pompey, taking on the current early leaders of Super League division one – the highest club level of the women’s game.
They did not show any fear and tested County.
Both goals arrived in a five-minute spell deep into the second half.
Joint Blues boss Northeast was happy with what he saw from his team.
He felt they gave County a scare before bowing out of the competition with heads held high.
‘The players all performed extremely well,’ said Northeast.
‘We came close to beating them.
‘They had to find an extra gear to beat us.
‘We really did come close to pulling off a positive result.
‘The game swung like a pendulum.
‘At times you could see their quality, but at times we were pressing and creating chances ourselves.’
Centre-back Bradley scored first with a thumping header from a corner on 72 minutes.
Her England team-mate Clarke then raced clear to net just three minutes later.
It was cruel on Pompey who had performed well from the start.
The Blues suffered an early blow when striker Charley Wilson was injured.
She took a knock to the ribs after an accidental collision with the County keeper.
That certainly proved a problem as Pompey had to reshape their side and change tactics.
But Ellie Bloomfield came on and performed well in midfield, with Lucy Quinn switching inside from the flank to a forward role.
Pompey continued to attack well but didn’t quite have enough to cause an upset on the day.
Northeast added: ‘It took two quality England internationals to break us down.
‘Sophie Bradley scored with a thumping header – I don’t think many teams would have stopped that.
‘It was a good header, I can’t take that away from her.
‘Jess Clarke then scored after going through one-on-one. She finished it very well.
‘They did probably create more than us but we still had chances to win the game.
‘Charley had a chance before she had to come off and Molly Clark had a chance in the second half.
‘For 80 minutes our girls were fantastic but it was a five-minute spell when they did the damage.’