DEFENDER Lee Vaughan was proud of the way Harriers made Premier League Sunderland work hard for their 1-0 victory.
The Carpetmen produced a determined display at the Stadium of light, despite falling behind to Charis Mavrius' late goal.
He said: “When we got back in the dressing room we were deflated because a loss is a loss at the end of the day.
"But the gaffer has picked us back up. He told us that we should be proud and if we can play a Premiership side like that and make them struggle to break us down, then teams in our league are really going to struggle against us.
"We’ve got to take the positives – and there were a hell of a lot of positives there.
“But you’ve got to give Sunderland credit for the first five, ten minutes. I don’t think we knew what hit us.
"They were very good, but we settled down and got our shape and I really thought that we could have a good go at them. I wouldn’t say that we were comfortable, but we were organised and we were ready.
“I think we had one or two really good chances. Michael Gash’s one in the first half and the new boy (Freddie Ladapo) second half. We had clear chances to score and I don’t think Sunderland did.
“Our performance is only going to have a positive effect on the lads in terms of confidence. There wasn’t one player who didn’t do themselves any harm at all.”
Aggborough goalkeeper Danny Lewis was disappointed that Harriers’ money-spinning cup adventure is over.
He said: “It’s absolutely a shame that it’s had to come to an end, but we can now kick on in the league. Our main aim now is to get our league form back on track.”