BARNOLDSWICK Town manager Endrit Shehu admits he is still feeling hurt after the club's FA Cup exit to the hands of Marine.

Town were doing a remarkable job, up until the final five minutes when their higher league opponents nicked two goals to book their place in the first qualifying round of the competition.

Zack Dale put the Barlicks a goal to the good from the spot after goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant received his marching orders.

A superb finish from Ryan Wignall was then followed by a controversial free kick by Josh Hmami, which the referee deemed to have crossed the line, video footage proves otherwise.

Shehu could not hide his disappointment, but finds it difficult to fault his players.

He said: "It still hurts. We were winning for 85 minutes and in full control until something magical happened.

"If you look at the first Marine goal, it is one of them that happens once every ten games. A great finish that changed the game.

"I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but the second goal is not a goal but that’s football.

"We ended up losing when we were the better team, that is what can happen in the FA Cup.

"We want to create a team that the fans are proud of win or lose. Even though we lost, we gave everything.

"We had the chances to finish the game, but Marine, as an experienced team, changed the game in five minutes and that’s the difference in levels."

Barnoldswick were loitering above the relegation zone before the results of last season's North West Counties Premier Division were expunged.

However, they have had a brilliant summer bringing in the likes of ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers youngster Brad Knox and former Halifax Town player Eliel Anku.

Shehu has big plans for the 2020/21 campaign and refuses to rule out a promotion push.

First up though is a trip to Newton Aycliffe at the first round qualifying stage in the FA Vase on Saturday.

The Town boss added: "Every year we try and improve. We have done that in the FA Cup so we are looking to do the same or better in the FA Vase.

"It's an away game so it's always a challenge because we don’t really know how they play or what kind of pitch they have.

"We will adapt and we are confident after that Marine game.

"We don’t want to have a team where everyone is comfortable. I want to create an environment where there is a lot of competition.

"If we are going to achieve anything we need a big squad and that is what we have, in every position we have two players.

"We had a tough year last year both on and off the pitch. The club have been very patient with me.

"Our target is top 10. Anything below 10th would be an unsuccessful season.

"Once we are in the top 10 anything can happen, especially when three go up."