YORK City manager Gary Mills declared himself proud of his ten-man team despite their exit from the FA Cup following a thrilling 4-3 defeat at AFC Wimbledon.
Despite having Scott Kerr sent off in the first half, the Minstermen forced extra-time in an absorbing first-round replay courtesy of substitute Jamie Reed’s first kick of the match on 90 minutes.
After the Dons then forged ahead 4-2, Reed also grabbed an 119th-minute effort to ensure the enthralling tie’s outcome was in doubt right to the final whistle.
Mills added afterwards that his team also went a long way to proving that Saturday’s disappointing 3-0 League defeat to the same opposition at Bootham Crescent was a one-off.
He said: “We were excellent from the word go. It could have been 3-0 before we even scored and 4-1 or 5-1 at half-time.
“We got what we deserved on Saturday but we didn’t in this game. Hopefully, though, this performance proved Saturday was just a one-off because I thought the players were unbelievable last night.
“I am gutted and proud of them because they gave me and the football club everything. I’m also gutted to be out of the FA Cup because everybody wants a good run in the competition.”
Kerr was sent off for two bookable offences, fouling Rashid Yussuff in the build-up to Wimbledon’s first goal after being cautioned for dissent earlier.
The City chief, though, was frustrated by referee Keith Stroud’s display, saying: “For the first booking, it was the most blatant corner or the first of what should have been two or three penalties we weren’t given. That didn’t cost us the game but we need a break at the moment.”
Reed, meanwhile, was compared to Premier League ace Edin Dzeko by Mills for his potency off the bench.
“He’s come on and scored goals ever since he came to the club,” said the Minstermen boss. “There’s a chap at Manchester City doing the same and it can be a strength. I thought Reedy had a good shout for a penalty as well.”