OLLIE Cherrett described as “gutting” the late goal which saw Christchurch lose to Sholing in the Russell-Cotes Cup final.

Priory had frustrated the Wessex Premier champions at Hurn Bridge until second-half stoppage time when Brad Targett headed the only goal of the game.

Defeat was the first for Cherrett’s charges in eight matches as they ended the league season in 16th.

Discussing the cup final, the Christchurch boss told the Daily Echo: “We had a game plan. Sholing are a very good side. No team wins the league by the margin they did without being a good team.

“First and foremost, we had to make sure we stopped them from playing and frustrated them, which we did extremely well.

“I am proud of all the lads. They put a real shift in and we were hoping if we could create a couple of chances, we could take one.

“Unfortunately, we could not quite get that really good chance. The game was fizzling out but they are a top side and the reason they are a top side is they always seem to find a way to win games – it is a trait most league and cup winners have. To concede so late was gutting.”

Despite the loss, Cherrett said all of his squad had signed on for next season, while goalkeeper Max Frampton is set to join the coaching staff.

“The future is bright,” said Cherrett. “We need to dust ourselves off, have a nice little break, come back in pre-season and have a real go. We will look to add to the squad. Hopefully, the youngsters who did really well this season and took on responsibility can kick on again.

“For me, I had a three-year plan which we have achieved. We got ourselves promoted as champions. We have now stabilised the club back in Wessex Premier and I like to think we can push on. I don’t think we have quite hit our limit yet. That will be mine and the players’ challenge next season.”