Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says Stags ‘played exceptionally well’ as his men beat Derby 6-5 on penalties at One Call Stadium in the Papa Johns Trophy.
The game went to spot-kicks after a 1-1 draw following 90 minutes.
In normal time, a crowd of over 3,000 witnessed an entertaining encounter which featured a plethora of chances for both sides.
Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, Nigel said: “I thought we played exceptionally well again on the back of Friday night.
“Going towards half-time we’ve hit the crossbar, had a good shout for a penalty, missed one or two opportunities and we think it’s not going to be our night. We deservedly got back on level terms.
“Second-half I thought [we had] five or six unbelievably good chances.
“[We were] Very close to winning the game tonight [in normal time], but in terms of overall performance again [we had] some outstanding play at times.”
Eight changes were made by the manager, which included a start for midfielder Hiram Boateng for the first time in over a month.
“He’s going to take a little while to get back in the swing of it but that was the most important thing for us tonight to get him back on the pitch,” said Nigel, speaking about Hiram.
“Kieran Wallace was down to play 90 [minutes] but came off after 25 minutes, not ideal.
“Jordan [Bowery] was down to play 90 [and he] felt ill at half-time.
“John-Joe O’Toole was down to play 90 [minutes] and he got a nasty gash on his eyebrow, so it threw our plans a little bit.
“Elliott Hewitt ended up playing 90 minutes but he’s one of our fittest players so he’ll be okay.
“It’s still only the first few days in October and there’s lads who [still] need game time. That’s why we want to stay in the competition because another [game] in November won’t do us any harm at all.”
Ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two match at Barrow, the manager said: “John-Joe [O’Toole] has had quite a few stitches, it was quite a deep and wide cut. The doctor has stitched it up. It looks very neat indeed. We’ll see how he is.
“Everybody is always in it [considered for the matchday squad] because we only have 18 [or] 19 [players]. Everyone is always in our thoughts.
“[It’s] lovely to see Jason Law back on the pitch and Hiram Boateng [we’ll] just see how he is in the next couple of days.”