Havant & Waterlooville boss Shaun Gale paid tribute to his team after they led twice before losing 5-2 to Liverpool in their FA Cup match at Anfield.
Gale (left) celebrates his team's second goal
"We were magnificent. The standing ovation the Liverpool fans gave us at the end was fully deserved," he said.
"People laughed when we said we were going to come here and have a go, but we did just that.
"If you sit back against a team like Liverpool you will be murdered, and we certainly were not murdered."
Striker Richard Pacquette - a school caretaker - put Gale's men ahead with a header after eight minutes.
And even after Leiva Lucas equalised, Alfie Potter restored the Hampshire part-timers' lead before they tired in the second half.
Gale added: "We were never disgraced. The fears were that we could have got battered, but that did not happen and that is what has made me proud of my team.
I'd told them we were not here for a jolly-up - we can have a party afterwards
"We scored early on and it took Liverpool a long time to get back at us.
"That should have been the end of it, but we scored almost straightaway and I am only disappointed that we let in an equaliser just on half-time.
"But we were playing against world-class players, and things like that are going to happen."
Gale felt his team's admirable performance justified his pre-match confidence that they could cause Liverpool problems.
"I'd told them we were not here for a jolly-up - we can have a party afterwards," he said.
"There was also no point in just defending. We cannot change the way we play."
Relieved Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez described the Blue Square South team's display as "outstanding."
"Credit to them, they did everything they could and when they scored early on it gave them a lot of hope," he said.
"We were very disappointing in the first half. Our defending was not good enough.
"But in the second period we believed they could not keep their high tempo, and that is how it turned out.
"When a team from their level scores twice at a place like Anfield, it means they can run further and for much longer.
"When you see a club six divisions below us playing like that and giving everything it shows what a great competition the FA Cup is."