Stevenage boss Alex Revell believes his side’s battling 2-2 draw away at MK Dons showed their true character as they earned an FA Cup first-round replay.
Revell’s men went behind to their League One opponents in the 34th minute when Harry Darling’s header broke the deadlock but three goals in six second-half minutes ensured the tie would go to a replay at the Lamex Stadium.
Bradley Barry equalised for the League Two side before Elliott List had them briefly dreaming of an upset until Max Watters found the roof of the net, but despite failing to get the win, Revell was immensely proud of his side.
“I thought we showed real energy, creativity and belief in what we were doing after we made the changes in the second half,” said Revell, who saw his side get thumped 5-0 by Newport last week to leave them 21st in League Two.
“I thought the two goals we scored were top class and the ones we conceded were poor, but overall I’m so pleased for the group because they’ve really shown what they’re about.
“The players have shown today how much they’ve learned this week. They’ve put last week out of their minds and I’m really proud of them because we were the better side 100 per cent
“My confidence is fine and I’m here because I care about the football club and what I do. The last couple of results have hurt but all along I just try to make sure the players go out there ready and they give their all.”
MK Dons boss Liam Manning called on his players to be brave enough to try things after a frustrating draw against lower league opposition.
He said: “We have to give a lot of credit to Stevenage for the way that they set up in terms of the block. Any team that does that and comes and works as hard as they did is going to be difficult to beat.
“It’s also going to be difficult coming up against a team with players behind the ball but it’s one for us to speak about. We need to encourage the players to be braver and to try a few different things.
“We made a tweak at half-time but probably didn’t take enough risks or weren’t brave enough to try anything.
“I think we didn’t deal with the changes that they made. Within five minutes of their changes, we had conceded two and we lost control of the game.
“We gave away some poor goals and ended up chasing the game. It’s probably a feeling of frustration after the game but also maybe a bit of relief that we’re still in the tie.”
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