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Plenty of positives

Ardley left a happy man following cup progression

19 October 2019

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Neal Ardley says he saw lots of good things from our players in Saturday’s 2-1 Emirates FA Cup win against Belper Town.

We came from a goal down to record victory against the Nailers and progress to the first round proper, with Enzio Boldewijn and Kyle Wootton on target.

And the gaffer feels there are plenty of positives to take from the win.

“We showed a lot of good qualities,” said the boss.

“We were patient, we hit the woodwork, their goalkeeper made some excellent saves and we scored some great goals.

“It’s difficult to break teams down when they camp in the final third, and we’re still learning how to do that, but we didn’t get anxious – we kept going and got our rewards.

“I take huge positives from the game. We were 1-0 down in a tricky tie but we stuck at it and broke the opposition down.”

Our task was made harder by a Belper side that didn’t visit Meadow Lane just to make up the numbers, and Ardley paid credit to them.

“It’s important to praise the opposition,” he said. “They had a gameplan and executed it brilliantly.

“Normally with 20 minutes to go you start finding gaps because they tire but they just kept going and made it a tough match for us.

“Their fans were incredible and that kind of occasion is what the FA Cup can bring.”

We were forced to dig deep during the latter stages, with Damien McCrory making an important block in the dying moments, and the boss was impressed with how we coped with the pressure.

“We knew they’d have threats and we had to put bodies on the line,” he added. “We dealt with it.

“It doesn’t matter how you get there and you learn more about the team in a game like this than you do winning 4-0.

“It’s huge to progress. We want to get to the third round and get ourselves a big tie.”

The draw for the first round proper takes place live on BBC Two at 7pm on Monday. We're ball 58.

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