AFC Mansfield boss Matt Chatfield credited a determined Heanor Town side who held the Bulls to a 0-0 draw in the Emirates FA Cup.
“Fair play to Heanor — they’ve come out and they were the better side in the first half,” Chatfield said after the Extra Preliminary Round stalemate.
“I think in the second half there was a bit more about us — their keeper has made an absolute ‘worldie’ of a save and any other day it’s going in the back of the net. And there’s that goalmouth scramble at the end where we think it’s gone in.
“The good thing is we’re still in the FA Cup, we’re still in the draw and we get another bite of the cherry.”
The Bulls did well to resist a Heanor side that more than often looked a real threat, with defender Cameron Hough picking up the man-of-the-match award.
“Look at our back four today, it’s another clean sheet,” Chatfield added. “I’ve seen Cameron Hough make a 70-yard sprint to make sure we don’t concede the ball.”
Despite Chatfield’s side being the favourites for the tie, it was the Lions who came out strong in the first half and looked the more likely winner, with striker Jamie Sleigh missing key opportunities.
The second half saw AFC make much-needed improvements, but they couldn’t find the target as Town stopper Jordan Pierrepont pulled off a spectacular save to deny Ross Duggan, before Jordan Annable’s last-gasp header looked to have crossed the line but goal appeals were waved away.