IT WAS a blow that caused Matt Kilgallon more pain than the whack on his shin which forced him off early.

The defender was a helpless spectator in the second half as City’s FA Cup hopes disappeared at Yeovil.

Throw in the Glovers then picking out Manchester United’s ball in Monday’s fourth-round draw and it only doubled the pain.

Kilgallon said: “It was a disappointing day and we let everyone down. The lads were gutted.

“I tried to explain to some of the lads that you don’t get many chances in the FA Cup. Your career goes along fast.

“The draw made it worse. I’ve been lucky enough to play against Man United and it’s a massive event – the best feeling ever as a footballer.

“But it’s gone now and the season moves on. We’ve got a big opportunity to move up the league if we win because a couple of the teams above us are playing each other.”

Blackburn face Shrewsbury tomorrow while Scunthorpe go to sixth-placed Portsmouth, offering City the chance to make real inroads with three points against Northampton.

Kilgallon has recovered from the lump he got defending a corner just before half-time at Huish Park and is eager to ensure they deliver the right response.

He added: “Football is all about ups and downs and there is no better feeling than winning. We’ve still got so much to play for in the league.

“Our standards have been so high and that’s probably the first time we’ve played like that all season.

“On average, you’ll probably get three or four and that’s one of them. Fair enough, the gaffer wasn’t happy with us but he knows we’re not like that.

“Hopefully we’ve got that out the system and we won’t do that any more.”

McCall admitted the “hangover” from the FA Cup lingered into the start of the week but is confident it has blown over.

He said: “Everyone talks about the draw and what we could have had. But there are winners and losers in football.

“Our performance got what we merited. It’s ifs and buts now but the worst thing you can do is dwell on it – and we’ve got the league to go for.”