ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman said "the best team won" after their shock loss to Conference strugglers Leigh RMI in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round.
The Reds knocked Leigh out at the same stage last year but the Hilton Park side got their revenge.
And this was despite Leigh's manager Phil Starbuck coming out of playing retirement and starting for his side after a virus has swept the club in recent weeks.
Stanley were without their skipper Peter Cavanagh who was struggling with a foot injury and the suspended Lee McEvilly with Paul Cook and Paul Howarth coming into the starting line-up.
But they couldn't stop Leigh opening the scoring in the first half when Chris Lane found Chris Simm unmarked in the area and he headed home. And it was safe in the 74th minute when Danny Alcock was judged to have brought down Simm and captain Karl Rose converted the spot kick.
"I can have no complaints, the best team won and they defended well," said Coleman. "We are devoid of creativity at the moment and perhaps I have kept faith with some of my players for too long."
Full report in Friday's Observer