Phil Brown is staying positive despite Preston's Johnstone's Paint Trophy Northern section area semi-final defeat to Chesterfield.
A Jamie McCombe header for Preston and a predatory finish from Chesterfield's Craig Westcarr meant the sides could not be separated in normal time and when the normally dependable Graham Alexander missed for the Lilywhites in the shootout, it was left to Alexandre Mendy to keep his cool and put the Spireites through.
While a little disappointed to miss out on a place in the regional final, Brown stressed how happy he was with the performance.
"There were some very good signs, we got 90 minutes out of a few players who have been on the treatment table such as Jamie Proctor, Neil Mellor and Graham Alexander," he said.
"In the second half, we should have pulled away and pulled clear with some of the quality that we have. Unfortunately I'm now looking at a defeat from a penalty shoot-out.
"We've ran out of luck in penalty shoot-outs - it was not meant to be but there are a lot of positives to be drawn from it."