Source: Daily Mirror
Nicky Platt believes his side can still join Manchester’s other United in the FA Cup Third Round.
The FC United’s goal scorer says the rank outsiders fancy their chances in the replay at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground on December 8 – and a home date with Portsmouth.
Platt gave United the lead five minutes before the interval and they held on until seven minutes from time when Spanish striker Francisco Sandaza equalised for an increasingly desperate Brighton.
Gus Poyet’s League One leaders then wasted a glorious opportunity to seal a place in the third round in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Elliott Bennett had a well-struck penalty brilliantly saved by keeper Sam Ashton.
But midfielder Platt insisted his side had drawn enormous confidence from their gallant display, saying: “We can’t wait to get Brighton u p to our place, which I’m sure will be packed. Brighton will not have seen anything like it, I can guarantee it. You can see why they are top of the league – they were quality opposition. But I’m sure a lot of our lads could step up to play in League Two or in the Conference.”
Keeper Ashton, who made four crucial saves before Platt drove FC United ahead, admitted a tip from his assistant manager Roy Soule had helped him to foil Brighton.
Ashton said: “Roy Soule had watched a tape of Brighton’s penalty shoot-out at Woking and told me that Sandaza will go left and the rest will all put it to the right.
“I did go to my right and I touched it round the post. I could tell that he (Bennett) didn’t want to take it. He didn’t look as though he was confident to take it.”
FC United boss Karl Marginson felt the tie illustrated the magic of the FA Cup, and was overjoyed that his side – 112 places in the football pyramid below Brighton – had come so close to pulling off one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition.
He said: “It was really a victory for us. To come to Brighton and get any kind of result was always going to be very difficult.
“We hung on by our fingernails at times, but that shows the belief the players have got.”
Brighton, without a win in six games in all competitions, have now missed four penalties this season and their assistant manager Mauricio Taricco believed this was a game they should have won easily.
He said: “We’re not very happy at the moment because we know we need to be more clinical.
“We must be doing something well because of the amount of opportunities that we’re creating, but the final touch has been missing.”