Following a 2-1 defeat to Ebbsfleet United, manager Chris Millington spoke to Shaymen TV to give his thoughts on the game.
“I’m furious with the result,” Millington said. “First and foremost, we have to recognise Ebbsfleet’s contribution to the game, they’re a good side. I’ve no doubt they are a National League side in waiting and I think it would be remarkable if they don’t get promoted this year. Their squad has National League quality players in every position. They’ve got a great style of play, some of their rotations are excellent and they’ve got a flair up front and a real threat with their attacking line up. But that being said, the game hasn’t hinged on that. The game hinged on some poor decisions by the officials and that’s what has undone us. Both the winning goal and the red card are a mistake. It disappoints me that we’ve been knocked out of the cup more by poor decisions than the quality of the opposition.”
Town saw themselves go 1-0 down in the first half after Ebbsfleet took the lead after 13 minutes.
“We conceded and Ebbsfleet are a good attacking threat, we did our homework, and we knew they’d try and go down the sides,” Millington told Shaymen TV. “We knew we had to defend our box well because they had attacking midfielders that look to make runs down the sides and they have forwards who are a constant threat to the backline. It was disappointing in the way we conceded that goal, but it was fantastic to go up to the other end and equalise so soon. As the half went on, we became more and more of a threat. We expected to have that threat because of the way that they play, and their rotations have to be on point. We expected, as the game wore on, that their rotations would get more tired, and we would get more opportunities to hit them on the counter. That was taken away from us due to the sending off.”
Ebbsfleet regained their lead early into the second half and Jack Senior was sent off just two minutes later, which marked the turning point of a day to forget for the Shaymen.
“It was all over at that point,” Millington said. “The second goal came from a corner that wasn’t a corner. Sam Johnson parries away a shot and it deflects off an Ebbsfleet player to go out. I think everyone in the stadium knows that it has gone out off an Ebbsfleet player, except the referee and he’s the one that made the call that it was a corner when it clearly wasn’t. However, we should never concede from a set piece, that’s for sure. We need to look at that and make sure that we’re tighter on set pieces, but it doesn’t help that it wasn’t a set piece, and it was a goal kick.
“That was soon followed up by the sending off for Jack Senior, which I absolutely accept was a yellow card, but we all know the first one wasn’t. It was an excellent tackle, and he got the ball. It became a massive uphill battle from there, we had to change the game plan and make changes we wouldn’t usually make.”
Defeat against Ebbsfleet meant Town crashed out of the Emirates FA Cup in the First Round.
“It was a disappointing end,” Millington told Shaymen TV. “If you’re going to go out of the cup then you want to go out in style, you want to go out to a team of a higher level in a thrilling environment but that’s not been the case. It feels like we’ve been knocked out of the Cup for circumstances beyond our control.”
The Shaymen are next in action on Tuesday when they travel to Solihull Moors.
“We’ve already started looking at them,” Millington said. “it is hard to take your mind off this game at the moment as it’s so soon after but no doubt once we’re on the road and on the way back up North, we will have more time to start considering what we do to move forwards towards Solihull.
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