CAMPION’S joint-manager Lee Ashforth could not his disappointment after his side’s agonising 1-0 FA Cup defeat at home to Bradford rivals Albion Sports, but admitted promotion has always been the priority this season.

Wednesday night’s extra preliminary round clash was a closely fought affair, with both sides able to carve out a handful of decent chances, but it was Albion who broke the deadlock in the 77th minute through Sanchez Payne.

Campion won a penalty in the final minute, but Sean Hunter wasted the chance to take the tie to a shootout, blazing his spot-kick over the bar.

Speaking the morning after the game, Ashforth said: “I think the game could have gone either way. For both of us it was our first competitive game for six months, and it was in the FA Cup.

“We were disappointed to miss the penalty in the last minute, as that would have taken it to a shootout.

“It was good to get some money in the coffers with a good crowd (189) last night, but we’re disappointed to miss out on the prize money for winning.

“But the priority is promotion (from Division One of the Toolstation Northern Counties East League). That’s always been the target. An FA Cup run would have been a bonus.

“We also move on to the FA Vase and have that to go at. That’s probably a bit more important than the FA Cup, as you can go further in that.

“If we’d have won last night, it would have been a tough ask to beat Runcorn Linnets away from home in the next round anyway.

“But ultimately we still wanted to win against Albion and didn’t.

“Lessons have been learned from that cup defeat and we now have to get it right for when our league campaign starts (at home to Glasshoughton Welfare) on September 19.”

Discussing the challenge of facing Albion in Wednesday night’s clash, Ashforth said: “Albion are in the league above us, so on paper we were the underdogs.

“But if you look at where we’ve been in the last few years (challenging for promotion), you maybe would have fancied us.

“It was always going to be a close game, but I thought Albion played really well actually.

“They’ve built a good team and I think they’ll do well in this coming season under their new manager Pav Singh and his assistant Ischy Hussain.”