Nantwich Town boss Phil Parkinson says his side ‘came up trumps’ against Bradford Park Avenue following a 1-1 draw in the Second Round of the FA Trophy on Wednesday night.
Parkinson described the squad he took to the Horsfall Stadium as ‘bare bones’ and with players being unavailable, first team coach Danny Griggs had to take a place on the bench.
However, the manager believes that the team passed the test provided by their opponents with flying colours.
After the game he said: “It was a big, big ask for us as a squad and I feel that we’ve been tested to our limits and came up trumps.
“There’s been other performances in the season where you’re always going to look at yourselves and think we weren’t quite at it but I thought the players gave me everything.
“In terms of attitude, mentally and physically, they were superb and they had to be because they were playing a very good Bradford Park Avenue outfit who are doing well in their league as well so we’ve got to take a lot from this.”
Parkinson praised goal scorer Josh Hancock after the game for his display, but claimed he wasn’t the only player that impressed him.
“There were some huge performances out there.” Parkinson explained.
“I’m going to have to mention Hancock in particular, I thought he was outstanding – he seems to really come alive in the big games.
“But it’s unjust for me to just single him out because there were so many fantastic performances out there.”
The lack of first team players made way for two youth team players to grab a spot on the bench, and although they didn’t make it onto the pitch during the game, Parkinson states that the match was still a great experience for them.
“For them young lads on the bench watching they were probably chomping at the bit to get on, young Jordan Bennion and Troy Bourne.
“It’s just fantastic at the moment to give these boys this platform to play on and like I said, the boys are fantastic.” added Parkinson.
Despite concluding that his team played better than the hosts, Parkinson was disappointed overall not to win the clash.
Parkinson said: “I’m disappointed we didn’t get the win, I thought we did enough to win the game but they’re a very good team and we didn’t come here thinking it was going to be an easy game and we were just going to come here and beat them.
“What a performance from the players, coming a long way to Bradford midweek which is always a big, big ask for non-league players – getting out of work at half three is very difficult to do and then travelling two hours in the week.
“But I thought my players were the better team on the night and deserved to get the draw bare minimum.
“Every week my players turn out great performances with real true grit and determination.”
Drawing against the National League North opposition means that Nantwich will have to replay the tie at home next Tuesday January 26.
The replay will no doubt be in the back of Parkinson’s mind but his attention has now turned to this weekend’s battle with Blyth Spartans:
“It’s a huge game. We’ll prepare correctly, we’ll just fine tune one or two things in training and just clear a few things up about what we maybe could have done slightly better, which wasn’t much, and hopefully be ready for Blyth.
“The game will have taken a lot out of my players and recovery is massive now, its about them being that little bit professional and making sure they look after themselves from now until Saturday, that will be the key.”
Source: Nantwich Town FC