Matlock Town boss Mark Atkins paid tribute to his over-stretched squad despite the 1-0 defeat at Chorley.
Captain James Lukic was not fit to travel to Lancashire so Laurence Gaughan partnered Adam Yates at the heart of the defence and both were praised by Atkins, who could only name three substitutes.
He said: “Laurence and Adam were both excellent and really stood out.
“Laurence has had a long time out injured but showed on Saturday what a good player he is and it gives us another quality option.
“We were low on numbers and kept the starting eleven on all of the game as Ben Algar had only an hour’s training while James Travis is still learning the game, although he’d been excellent at Grantham.”
There is a possibility Lukic and top scorer Lewis McMahon might be in contention to return for Saturday’s trip to Hednesford Town btriker ut Anthony Griffith-Junior looks likely to be missing for another fortnight.
l Matlock will host First Division North Farsley in the Doodson League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, March 19.
Reduced admission prices for the tie have been announced at £7 for adults and £5 for senior citizens and juniors, while children under 12 will pay £2.