Manager Graham Westley shared his disbelief that Coventry’s winning goal wasn’t given as an offside.
“The myth that managers have carefully constructed around us doesn’t help, I didn’t see five minutes of added time. I am certain five minutes went up because Steve Simonsen went down in the 89th minute.
“It is painful, they have put a lot of work in to get knocked, we have to use tonight as a driving force and a motivation for what we do in the league.
“I won’t be going away and feeling sorry for myself, what done is done and now we have to make sure that we bounce back and we use the pain of tonight.
“We won’t be winning the JPT this year and we have taken some tough body blows but I have said to the lads, you can either go away and feel sorry for yourselves or you can bounce back and start putting some consecutive wins together in the league.
“What doesn’t kill you has to make you stronger and we have to learn the lessons from that and the road to winning, there are some tough roads.
“The players wanted to go through and do so well for the Club, the five minutes added on did we see it out like a side which is winning consistently, no. We didn’t keep the ball in front of us, we made mistakes when trying to see the game out.
“If three players are in the positions that they are in and to suggest they are not interfering would be wrong.
“The boys seem adamant it was a penalty, ok we went and scored immediately after but that isn’t the point. It is hard to accept decisions as big as that which have knocked us out.
“It is always tough to accept a decision as blatant as that but in fairness we didn’t get the rub of the green with decisions all night. There was a penalty on Joe Garner in the second half, I need to see it again but it seems stone wall.
“They showed a great togetherness and spirit to earn the right to be ahead on 90 minutes. Naivety to concede the equaliser and obviously there will be some focus on the decisions on to allow the offside goal to knock us out.
“They deserved to get something out of the game and they really did work hard in the second half to get themselves back into the match.
Also revealing goalkeeper Steve Simonsen was injured minutes before Coventry scored their final two games, he said: ““I am gutted for the lads; they put in a really strong 90 minute performance.
Speaking after the game, boss Westley couldn’t hide his emotions and has told his players to use tonight’s game as fuel for the rest of the season.
The tie completely turned on its head in stoppage time with the Sky Blues scoring two quick fire goals with former North End frontman Leon Clarke scoring a controversial equaliser.
The Lilywhites were cruelly knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for the second consecutive season in the northern semi-finals following a dramatic encounter at the Ricoh Arena.