DEAN Furman admits Warrington Rylands “didn’t show their true selves” in their play-off loss to Marine on Tuesday night.

However, he still reflected with pride upon the season as a whole as their hopes of an unlikely promotion to the National League North came to an end.

Blues defied expectations to finish fourth in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, putting themselves within two victories of joining neighbours Warrington Town in English football’s sixth tier next season.

Unfortunately for them, they were beaten 1-0 by the Merseysiders, for whom Sol Solomon struck the only goal just after half-time.

“We’re obviously really disappointed but I’m proud of everyone at the club,” said player/interim co-manager Furman, who played the full 90 minutes in midfield.

“It’s been a collective effort and has been a fantastic journey.

“There’s been adversity and difficult moments, but we’ve managed to overcome all of them to put ourselves in the play-offs against all the odds.

“Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen for us tonight.

“Tactically, they were very good. It was how we thought they might line up – they did it in the last 20 minutes of the game against them at home and it caused us a few problems.

“We thought it might be brave for them to go like that from the start, but they did.

“They put us under pressure, they hustled us and we couldn’t settle. It became the game they wanted as opposed to the one we wanted, and fair play to them.

“There weren’t many chances but they were probably worthy winners in the end.

“That’s the disappointment – after such a good season, we didn’t show our true selves tonight.”

The decisive moment of a tense and nervy knockout tie came three minutes after the interval when Owen Robinson, who spent two loan spells with Rylands earlier in his career, jinked into the box and set up Solomon to smash home the game’s only goal.

“We told the lads to settle down at half time – we wanted them to enjoy the occasion,” Furman said.

“The first half was far from enjoyable as we kept giving the ball away.

“We’d started the second half better, but they got the goal and it gave them the upper hand and something to cling onto.

“In the end, we threw everything we could at them but it just wasn’t to be.”

Furman and fellow senior player Mark Duffy were asked to take charge until the end of the season following the hasty departure of Sam Wilson just three days after he was named as Michael Clegg’s permanent successor.

He had also assisted Wilson when Clegg left for Macclesfield in February and when asked whether or not he would like the job permanently, the former South Africa international insists he needs time to mull things over.

“I’ve told the club I need a couple of weeks,” he said.

“I really have enjoyed it – we’ve brought the club and fans together and there’s a really nice connection there.

“There’s a really bright outlook for the club moving forward and I think there will be exciting times over the next few years.

“For me, we've had a couple of talks but I'm going to go away and have a good think.

“There’s disappointment now but when we get to reflecting on it, we had an entirely new squad and were 4-0 down at half time in our first game, but the run we’ve been on pretty much since that moment has been phenomenal.

“To be second for the majority of the season is a credit to everyone.

“You want to remember seasons like this rather than ones where you’re sat in mid-table and having a mediocre year.”