BRANTHAM Athletic manager Paul Abrahams has praised his battling players – despite missing out on a place in this season’s Red Insure Challenge Cup final.

The Thurlow Nunn League premier division side suffered heartache after losing their last-four showdown at Felixstowe and Walton, on Tuesday night.

Simon Mann had given them the lead but, agonisingly, the hosts levelled in the last few seconds and then scored twice more during extra-time for a 3-1 win.

Despite the setback, Abrahams said: “I was very proud of my players.

“They showed real courage and were brave both on and off the ball.

“I didn’t have any complaints in terms of performance."

For the full story and more Brantham news and views, see this week's Manningtree and Mistley Standard.