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Stags gutted not to have pulled off FA Cup upset win

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; The Emirates FA Cup; Cardiff City v Mansfield Town; 6/1/18  KO 15.00; Cardif City Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Mansfield's Alex McDonald shoots but sees his effort deflect wide off Cardiff's Sean Morrison
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; The Emirates FA Cup; Cardiff City v Mansfield Town; 6/1/18 KO 15.00; Cardif City Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Mansfield's Alex McDonald shoots but sees his effort deflect wide off Cardiff's Sean Morrison

Mansfield Town midfielder Alex MacDonald said the Stags were gutted not to have pulled off a major FA Cup upset after a fine goalless Third Round draw at Cardiff City.

The Stags are 51 places behind Championship high-flyers Cardiff, but MacDonald said the League Two promotion contenders had their hosts on the ropes at times and could have snatched victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“We’re in [the changing room] a little bit gutted,” said MacDonald.

Evans: We should have won

“We thought we had them on the ropes, especially in the second half for 20 minutes. We had a real good spell, we were opening them up and on another day we take one of our chances and we come away [with a win].

“[Cardiff] are where they are for a reason. Although they’re on a bad patch at the minute they’re still right up there and they’ve got a great manager and a great squad here.

MacDonald said the result would breed confidence into the Stags after they went toe-to-toe with Neil Warnock’s side, who are third in the Championship.

“We really came here and wanted to express ourselves, play good football and I think we did that,” said MacDonald.

The former Oxford United man was full of praise for the Mansfield faithful, with over 1,000 Stags’ fans cheering on the visitors.

“[The fans were] magnificent. I’ve said it a few times now, Coventry away was one and the list goes on to how good their support has been,” he said.

“We heard them from start to finish and it was just unlucky we couldn’t repay them with a winning goal.”

The draw means the Stags will be in the hat for the fourth round draw on Monday evening for the first time eisnce 2008 and MacDonald said he would be watching in the hope that they can get a big name to help spur them on in the upcoming replay.

“It’s the best cup in the world and [the draw] is something we’ll all look forward to and you never know, if we pull a big name out of the hat it could give us that added extra [incentive],” he said.

“Obviously we’ve got a big game to take care of in the first place but Liverpool away for me has always been one I’ve been desperate to pull out of the hat.”