United manager Mark Robins admitted Wednesday night’s dramatic FA Cup shoot-out success at Worcester City broke new territory in his personal career.Having cancelled each other out over the course of 120 minutes in the form of a 1-1 draw, penalties were required to see which side would advance to the Third Round.
A record-breaking 32 spot-kicks were taken before the visitors eventually triumphed 14-13, and Robins told The Iron Player: “I’ve experienced it before when other teams are playing and taking part, but not like that [myself].
“I thought we were going for the world record today in terms of the penalties. The goalkeepers weren’t really getting near them, then tired legs just did for it in the end.
“I think Wayne Thomas was shattered with his first penalty and stuck it in the net, but the second time it came around I just fancied us to get the initiative. Once we’d been handed it for the third time I didn’t think we were going to turn it down and that proved the case.”
The decisive penalty was eventually scored by defender Miguel Llera after the Spaniard had missed earlier in the shoot-out, and Robins added: “A few did it [missed], and then scored their second penalties.
“I fancied him the first time in all honesty. There were some really good penalties in there and some good nerves which we kept pretty well, and we’re happy we’re through.
“I thought they [Worcester] were excellent, and pushed us all the way. Don’t forget, they beat Coventry 2-1 in the last round to get to this stage.
“They’re no mugs at all and have got some lads there who are hungry and who will be looking to get into league football themselves without a shadow of a doubt.”
The Iron will now face either MK Dons or Chesterfield United in the next round, but will controversially be absent from the traditional round of fixtures on the first weekend of January through matters beyond their control.
Chesterfield had originally secured a 1-0 victory over Karl Robinson’s side at the start of December, but the result was eventually voided by the Football Association after it was revealed Spireites defender Georg Margrettier was ineligible for the match.
The two sides will now replay in a one-off game on Friday 2 January to decide who faces United at Glanford Park, and Robins said: “We lose out on a game on the 3rd [of January] with Barnsley, who as it happens we wouldn’t have been able to play as they went through in their own right. We’re losing a home tie on a Saturday and it moves to a Tuesday night.
“There’s probably nothing going to be able to be done, it just seems like a strange one.
“The decision’s been made, we’ve got to abide by it, and we’ll be the ones who suffer because we have a Tuesday night game instead of a Saturday one.”
See much more from Mark Robins and Neal Bishop on The Iron Player.