ALSAGER boss Greg Clowes is staying upbeat despite his side's heartbreaking extra-time exit from the FA Vase against Newcastle Benfield.
Town had looked good in the second qualifying round of the Vase against their Northern League opponents at Wood Park, but a late equaliser for the visitors had a crushing effect.
Extra time proved a step too far for skipper Wayne Brotherton and his men, and they went down 4-2. But Clowes insisted he had no complaints overall.
He said: 'It was a good cup-tie against the best team we've played this season. We missed chances when leading and on another day we would have gone on to win it. I've no complaints how we've played, although we tired badly in extra-time.'
The Newcastle side looked in fine fettle early on and Alsager keeper Phil McGing was soon in action. He reacted well to keep out Bell's strike in the third minute and saw Scope rattle the crossbar in the sixth.
The hosts hit back through Brotherton who was disappointed to see his 20-yarder whistle past the post, before defender Steve Elks had to be withdrawn through injury.
Town would have pleased to go in level, but Carl Espley could not help diverting the ball home for an own goal on 43 minutes.
But Alsager drew level on 46 minutes when Brotherton fed former Congleton Town man Richard Mitchell for a tap-in, and the captain hit a dipping volley to put Alsager on top on 54 minutes.
But a drilled shot from Young drew Newcastle level at the death, before he added another in extra time. Scope completed his brace as the hosts ran out of steam.
Meanwhile, former Alsager man Mark Grice ensured Nantwich Town did progress to the next round of the Vase.
The striker notched the decisive strike in the seventh minute of the game at Shifnal Town, on Saturday. The Midland Football Alliance outfit provided a stern test for Steve Davis' men, who face promotion chasers Newcastle Town at Jackson Avenue on Friday night.
The boss, who made his first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute for the injured Paul Taylor, said: 'It was a battle and could have been a real banana skin if we had not approached it properly.
'We did have a lot of chances but couldn't build on the lead Grice had given us.
'But I am pleased with the result and the overall performance. Now we have to turn our attentions to Newcastle on Friday. It should be an entertaining game and it would be great to get some extra support at Jackson Avenue.'