BOWERS & Pitsea boss Rob Small admitted he was content despite seeing his side knocked out of the Isthmian League Cup.

Wingate & Finchley managed to book their place in the third round at Bowers’ expense having come out on top in a penalty shoot-out after the clash finished 3-3 after 90 minutes.

But Small was pleased with Bowers’ never say die attitude as the hosts fought back from a two-goal deficit with just three minutes remaining at the Len Salmon Stadium.

“We had 10 players unavailable so we drafted in half a dozen of our under-23 players,” said Small.

“They played admirably and it’s not often I am content with losing any game, but the character shown to fightback so late on and the quality to get us back into the game was good to see.

“We only went out on penalties and nine out of the 10 penalties were scored.

“Unfortunately, it was us that missed but we all know that penalty shoot-outs are a lottery.

“A lot of the question marks about young players are to do with whether their mentality is right, but the fact that our players were still prepared to fight and hang in there is very positive.”

Callum Leahy, Bowers’ skipper for the night, cancelled out Tim Monsheju’s opener soon after the interval.

But David Manu gave Wingate a two-goal cushion thanks to a brace of goals.

James Thomas halved the deficit with just three minutes to go, while Luke Hirst hit the leveller in the dying moments.

Wingate scored all five of their spot-kicks, but Ryan Sammons missed the decisive penalty.