COX AND STEVE BATEMAN REACTION
post match interview with Paul Cox --->
Stags boss Cox happy to avoid FA Cup giantkilling at Slough
PAUL Cox was delighted to see his side avoid becoming FA Cup giantkilling casualties as they scraped home on penalties at minnow Slough Town last night.
The Stags boss had to endure the agony of the shoot-out after a 1-1 draw after extra-time had seen 220 minutes of football fail to separate Mansfield from the Rebels, three leagues below them.
“It wasn't good for the blood pressure,” smiled Cox. “But sometimes you just have to crawl into the next round of the competition and that is all that matters.
“I thought our luck had run out as we had enough chances in the 90 minutes to win it. But this is the FA Cup and it's never easy.
“Lincoln went and won away at Walsall 3-1 and that is the beauty of the competition.
“Credit to Slough. They will have some stiff legs in the morning and we just had to match them.
“We won the toss for the penalties and chose to go first to put a bit of pressure on Slough who had a few tired legs by then.”
Stags had skipper John Dempster dismissed after a lunging tackle and a melee afterwards in which a Slough player toppled to the ground off the ball.
Cox said: “The referee said he sent John off for violent conduct, but I will be looking at the DVD as anyone who knows John will know that's not in his personality.
“There were a few unsavoury incidents in the game and we have a few split faces in the dressing room from a few trailing elbows. A few of my players were aggrieved by the referee not doing anything.
“John's tackle looked perfect, but the referee seemed to send him off for something after. I will take a look and if I think we have a case we may appeal, though you rarely seem to win them.”
Stags now travel to Lincoln for round two on Saturday, 1st December with a new date now needed for the Stockport away league game
Slough Town manager Steve Bateman told BBC Radio Berkshire:
"It's never a nice way to lose any competition.
"We've matched them over two games. I'm pleased for the players because at half time tonight we were disappointed not to have got on the ball and asked a few more questions.
"In the second half we've got into them a lot more and in extra time it could have gone either way.
"It's a desperate way to lose but I am proud of the players and they can hold their heads high because they've matched a full time team. I felt for the players because they deserved to go through and were outstanding."
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QUOTE: #SteveBateman - #Mansfield executed their penalties a little bit like the Germans. Full interview in Friday's Observer @sloughtown
Steve Bateman proud of Slough Town performance
By Shakila Barabhuiya
MANAGER Steve Bateman said he was gutted more for his players than himself after their FA Cup loss to Mansfield.
The Rebels boss said he could not have asked for more from his side and praised their 'passion and determination' for matching their full-time opponents for 120 minutes.
Speaking to the Observer after the game, he said: "We were in it all the way. We have done ourselves credit.
"When I wake up in the morning I am going to be as I am now, gutted.
"For the players really because there was nothing in it at all. It has come down to two penalty kicks."
The Southern League side more than matched their opponents over the two ties and showed remarkable character to come back from conceding on the stroke of half time. Even then, Mansfield's goal came from Dominic Rhone's defensive error, which was arguably the only mistake Slough made over the two matches. But their heads did not drop and a 'bit of magic' from Stuart Swift got them back in the game.
"Dominic knows he should have cleared it, he was distraught at half time, which is why I pulled him out of it because it got to him a little bit during the game," explained Bateman. "He will learn from that experience."
He added: "The crowd were a little bit quiet at that point, understandably, waiting to see if we were going to cave in but we did not, we dug in.
"It was a great equaliser, in the fact he is taking on a full-time goalkeeper.
"Stuart Swift is renowned for his deadball expertise and he has hit an absolute screamer.
"I am pleased, we are doing what all professional sides should do, we followed in and got the ball in the back of the net.
"I am proud of the players because they have reignited the crowd and got everybody going."
Bateman believes his side rattled Mansfield for the next quarter of an hour but could not force the second goal.
However, it is a testament to the Rebels that they got back on level terms and managed to keep out Mansfield for the remainder of the match plus all of extra-time.
Bateman went on: "We have more than matched them.
"Guts, you can tick that box. We played with a bit of passion and ability, particularly in the second half.
"I am just pleased we have given a very good account of ourselves against a full-time outfit.
"When the boys play like that with that amount of passion and determination, I cannot ask for any more from them.
"They have got ability, certainly at the level we play at, but they have matched full-time professionals here."
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