Boss Dave Hewson paid tribute to his Workington Reds squad, despite losing out in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League play-offs.

Reds came from behind twice against Stourbridge but the home side picked up a crucial third goal in extra-time to claim a place in the play-off final against Spennymoor or Nantwich, who play tonight.

Hewson admitted everyone involved with the club was devastated at the result but his pride was also evident.

“It was just really hard to take, and the dressing room is hurting at the moment,” said Hewson.

“They’ve put so much in to recent games and I just don’t think we deserved that.

“We’ve dug in and came back so many times and never stopped believing. And I’m just hurting for the lads seeing them so down and disheartened.

“But we can take credit from the fact that we have come down here and put on such a good show. But I can’t stop them from being so disappointed.”

Hewson admitted once Reds got into the game they looked dangerous, especially in the second half, but Stourbridge always threatened.

He added: “I just thought in the second half we were on top, once we settled we started to believe in ourselves.

“We created chances and we knew they always would. And, unfortunately, they managed to put those away.

“But I am so proud of everyone at the club for the support, and the distance people have travelled.

“We really appreciate it.

“I am so proud of the players for the performance. I just want them to believe that they couldn’t have done any more, because they couldn’t.”

Goals from Dave Symington and Dan Wordsworth brought Reds level twice and forced extra-time. But, despite a superb showing, they could not get past a battling Stourbridge.

Hewson said they would be back to fight again next season and use this experience as motivation.