CRAWLEY Town manager Steve Evans insisted his side was the rightful winner of what was one of the biggest FA Cup shocks of all time.
He reckoned it was his team who kept on trying to win until the end and that it was their ‘Never Say Die’ attitude which brought them through in the end with Sergio Torres’ injury-time winner to beat Championship club Derby County 2-1 on Monday night.
A jubilant Evans said: “We deserved to win over 90 minutes. They equalised when we’d just missed the best two chances of the game to go 2-0 up and at the end there was one team trying to win it.”
The Reds boss was not unduly shocked with how well they managed to match the Championship highflyers.
He said: “I’m not surprised how well we matched them. Derby have got some terrific footballers who play some terrific football but if they don’t get time you can perhaps negate that a bit.
“It was always going to a tough game going on here and tough for Derby.
“Nigel Clough is a man I have the utmost respect for. They’ve prepared properly. They’ve trained in Crawley yesterday and taken a sneaky look at our pitch.
“They’ve done everything they can do as a management team. They’ve watched us in every game that we’ve played since they announced the cup draw. We have to believe in ourselves.”
Evans spoke out at referee Mark Hayward’s decision to award derby an early penalty for a challenge by goalkeeper Kuipers which appeared to bring down County’s Chris Porter.
He said: “I thought it was a stonewall penalty but the live TV replay showed it was a shocking dive and he should be sent-off for that.
“Michel Kuipers saves the penalty and justice is done.
“I thought there was one team trying to win the cup tie, one team made the chances, there was one team playing the passing football, and that’s Crawley Town.”