PAUL Cox was delighted to see his side avoid becoming FA Cup giantkilling casualties as they scraped home on penalties at minnow Slough Town last night.
The Stags boss had to endure the agony of the shoot-out after a 1-1 draw after extra-time had seen 220 minutes of football fail to separate Mansfield from the Rebels, three leagues below them.
“It wasn’t good for the blood pressure,” smiled Cox. “But sometimes you just have to crawl into the next round of the competition and that is all that matters.
“I thought our luck had run out as we had enough chances in the 90 minutes to win it. But this is the FA Cup and it’s never easy.
“Lincoln went and won away at Walsall 3-1 and that is the beauty of the competition.
“Credit to Slough. They will have some stiff legs in the morning and we just had to match them.
“We won the toss for the penalties and chose to go first to put a bit of pressure on Slough who had a few tired legs by then.”
Stags had skipper John Dempster dismissed after a lunging tackle and a melee afterwards in which a Slough player toppled to the ground off the ball.
Cox said: “The referee said he sent John off for violent conduct, but I will be looking at the DVD as anyone who knows John will know that’s not in his personality.
“There were a few unsavoury incidents in the game and we have a few split faces in the dressing room from a few trailing elbows. A few of my players were aggrieved by the referee not doing anything.
“John’s tackle looked perfect, but the referee seemed to send him off for something after. I will take a look and if I think we have a case we may appeal, though you rarely seem to win them.”
Stags now travel to Lincoln for round two on Saturday, 1st December with a new date now needed for the Stockport away league game.