Avenue manager bursting with pride as even Kidderminster fans applaud players' 'outstanding' effort in FA Cup (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Park Avenue manager bursting with pride as even Kidderminster fans applaud players' 'outstanding' effort in FA Cup
The pride he felt for his players outweighed the disappointment of Tuesday night’s FA Cup exit for Bradford boss John Deacey.
Avenue bowed out of the world’s oldest and most famous knockout competition at Kidderminster Harr-iers after extra-time.
They had matched the club knocking on the door of the Football League in the first meeting and the replay but slipped to a 2-1 defeat.
Deacey said: “I was so proud of the boys that I didn’t feel that disappointed to be fair.
“If we had not been at our best or let ourselves down with mistakes then I would have been disappointed, but we didn’t. We were absolutely outstanding, especially in the replay at their place.
“We got applauded off the pitch by the whole crowd at Kidderminster, the home fans were really generous towards us. I feel we should have gone through to the next round but that’s football.
“Having watched the DVD of the game I know we should have had a penalty but the game has gone now so you just get on with it. There are no sour grapes, we gave it our all and took a very good side all the way.”
It proved to be a difficult day all round for Avenue as their team bus broke down on the way to the ground, forcing the players and staff to complete the journey in local taxis after a frantic spell of mobile phone activity.
"The players had a rushed warm-up and abbreviated pre-match preparations and to cap it all the bus failed to make the return trip without further problems.
“It couldn’t have gone worse for us to be fair,” said Deacey. “The kick-off had to be delayed half an hour and the players had about ten minutes to loosen up and get the blood pumping after a nightmare journey.
“The bus also broke down again on the way back and some of the lads didn’t get home until about four in the morning.
“It will be a hard job to build them back up for two tough games in a few days with Harrogate Town (County Cup) on Monday after Gloucester in the league today. It’s not just a case of lifting the players mentally because they were physically drained as well after those two games.
“We have tried to get the balance of training, rest and a bit of light-hearted fun and games right this week. We have to be ready as there isn’t time for the players to feel sorry for themselves because the games are coming thick and fast now.
“I hope some of the people who came to watch us on Sunday (the initial meeting with Kidderminster) will know what we are all about now. We are very entertaining and play some good stuff.”
* Avenue are holding their second beer festival in the clubhouse at Horsfall Stadium every day until Monday (Today: Midday to 11pm; Sunday: 1pm to 6pm; Monday: 4pm to 11pm). Free emtry to beer festival, normal admission charges to Gloucester and Harrogate games. All 20 beers and six ciders are £2.50 per pint.
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