08:00AM, Saturday 10 February 2018
Alan Devonshire has said he’s gutted and hurting for the players, as well as the fans, after the Magpies’ hopes of reaching the final eight of the FA Trophy were ripped from their clutches in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Devonshire felt his side was in control heading into the final 10 minutes at Edgeley Park, having taken a 2-0 lead through Jake Hyde and Sam Barratt. But, as injuries mounted up and with the players feeling the effects of playing twice in 72 hours, Stockport turned the tie on its head to go through in extra time.
With several of the squad now a major doubt to be fit to play Torquay United at York Road this afternoon (Saturday), Devonshire added that he’d be happy just to pick up a point against Gary Owers’ improving side.
“I’m gutted,” said Devonshire. “Gutted for the players and the fans.
“We were 2-0 up and I thought we were comfortable. I couldn’t see them getting back into the game. But their first goal seemed to really hurt us.”
The Magpies’ boss was fuming the referee allowed Stockport’s winner, from Jimmy Ball, to stand, after the ball appeared to come off his hand when he bundled it into the net.
But, by then, Devonshire admitted, the tide had already turned against Maidenhead.
“Their winner was a handball; we all saw it from the sideline,” he said. “But by then it was probably too late. Listen, we should have seen the game out but it’s just the way it is.
“It hurts. I’m hurting for the boys, the fans and the club. But we’re out and we just have to get on with it now.”
Maidenhead still have work to do to secure their National League place but, with relegation battlers Torquay
visiting on Saturday, and a trip to Guiseley on the horizon, the Magpies have a great opportunity to pick up points.
But, with some players struggling to walk after Tuesday’s 120 minutes, that will be easier said than done.
“We’ve got to get ourselves back up for Saturday,” said Devonshire. “It’s going to be difficult because we’ve got a lot of walking wounded. But it was going to be difficult before we played last night.
“They’ve (Torquay) signed seven or eight players from league clubs and have drawn with Macclesfield and beaten Barrow. My first job will be getting a side out on the pitch to play them. Remy (Clerima) will probably still be out and Sam Barratt could be struggling.
“A few of the others could hardly walk after the final whistle.
“We got back at 3am in the morning and a few of them were up for work at 6. I’m not making
excuses but I don’t see why we had to play the replay just two days after the first game.
“Listen I’ll be happy just to get a result on Saturday. I might have to get a couple of players in over the next few weeks, it depends on our injuries and the fitness of the players.”
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