Ben Strevens can accept losing on penalties as Eastleigh crash out of FA Cup

Ben Strevens felt his side were not outclassed
Ben Strevens felt his side were not outclassed (PA Archive)
17:09pm, Sun 08 Nov 2020
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Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens refused to pile the blame on Tom Bearwish after his side crashed out of the FA Cup on penalties to MK Dons.

After the first-round tie finished 0-0 after extra-time, Bearwish saw his shootout effort come back off the crossbar enabling Scott Fraser to win it for the Dons and send them on following the 4-3 triumph.

It was a match which saw the Dons dominate possession without creating a great deal of clear chances over the 90 minutes against their National League hosts.

The best opportunity for the League One side to win the game in normal time came in the second half, but Carlton Morris’ header came back off the post.

The visitors continued to pile on the pressure in extra time, but the Eastleigh defence stood firm before the Dons eventually advanced.

Strevens said: “We matched a very good football team for 120 minutes. Yes they had the lion’s share of possession but it certainly wasn’t our intention to sit off them.

“They’ve got good footballers, we had to be very solid in our shape and the players had to work hard for each other.

“Tom Bearwish took a brilliant penalty on Tuesday and smashed it down the middle and today he’s hit the bar, but I can take losing on penalty kicks.

“I’m more proud of the players for stepping up and wanting to take them. That shows the good signs for me.”

MK Dons boss Russell Martin felt his side should have won it in normal time and need to simplify their approach.

Martin said: “I’m frustrated that we’ve put a lot of balls across the face of goal today but there’s been nobody to tap it in.

“I feel like we have to score a perfect goal for it to go in at the moment.

“We need to be uglier in the final third and do what we’ve been showing in our own defensive third.

“That side of it is paying off because we’ve had three clean sheets.

“We’ll keep working hard and make sure we get that and if we do we’re not far away from being very, very good, as there’s been nothing wrong with our performances and our identity.”

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