Macclesfield manager Daryl McMahon was proud of the efforts of his patched-together side despite their 4-0 FA Cup defeat to seventh-tier side Kingstonian.
With first-team players striking over unpaid wages and supporters protesting outside the ground, the visitors romped home.
McMahon said he was proud of the efforts of his young team, the oldest of which was just 21.
“It’s been a tough week,” he said. “Everyone knows what’s been happening, but all I can do is focus on the pitch and try to get a team out to try to win games. These lads have acquitted themselves well, I’m really proud of them.
“It was a great experience for these lads, it was the youngest side we’ve ever had in a game, I think the oldest player was 21, most were about 16. I thought some showed real promise, we’d like to look and see if we can develop them.
“The situation here is out of my control, as the manager of the football club I can only control what I can control. My job is to coach the team – that’s all I can do. Everything else has got nothing to do with me.”
Two goals from Louie Theophanous, with Dan Hector and Dan Barrett also scoring, made it one of Kingstonian’s best-ever moments.
And the Isthmian League side’s manager, Hayden Bird, was delighted with their efforts against Macclesfield’s loan players and local college students as they progressed.
“The players must take enormous credit, they deserve all the compliments,” he said. “We had to remain focused throughout, we didn’t know if the game was even going to be played.
“And even when it was established we would be playing, was it going to be their established team? We had to prepare for two very different scenarios but the players got the job done. We were worthy winners.
“It’s important we play football the right way and that I enjoy watching them, it’s a really proud day.
“When you have moments like this you want more, hopefully we’ll get a favourable draw and we can continue to look forward to playing in the FA Cup.
“It’s one of my best days as a manager, we’ve come to a Football League club and won convincingly. We’re going to celebrate, it’ll be a noisy coach going home. You have to enjoy these moments and I definitely will be.”