Grimsby Town manager Michael Jolley was pleased his side ensured they’ll be in the draw for the second round of the Emirates FA Cup after their 1-1 draw with Newport County.
Luke Waterfall’s 43rd-minute header ensured that Town led 1-0 at half time at Blundell Park.
But Michael Flynn’s side got level in the 80th minute as ex-Town striker Padraig Amond scored from the penalty spot.
And Jolley was disappointed that his side couldn’t win the tie, but was pleased that they ensured their place in the second round draw.
Speaking on iFollow Mariners, he said: “It was a tough game. I think we showed some good qualities, after losing James McKeown and Elliott Hewitt in the last 24 hours for different reasons.
“So we had to shuffle the pack going into the game, which is never helpful.
“Newport asked a lot of questions of us – they’re a tough, physical team to play against.
“I thought it was a very tight game – there were a lot of set plays and stoppages by the referee.
“We didn’t want to just defend our goal for the whole of the second half, but they forced us back.
“There were a lot of balls coming into our box and, naturally, when you’re trying to protect a lead the tendency is to drop a little bit deeper.
“But I still felt we could do something on the counter-attack, and even at 1-1 we were still trying to win the game in that last period.
“We could have won the game – we had a lot of chances towards the end, particularly Ethan Robson’s effort at the end, I really fancied him to score.
“We see him do that in training all the time and he scores more than he doesn’t score, so maybe he’s saving it for the next game.
“So it was disappointing not to win it, but we’re still in the hat for the second round.”
And Jolley revealed he will look to get a behind-closed-doors friendly match arranged for his side, after they’ve had three league games postponed in a month.
He said: “I think you could see today in the last part of the game a lot of the lads were tired.
“I think that’s just a bit of a lack of match-sharpness so we’ll try get a game against somebody this week.
“And that will at least keep their eye in and keep their match minutes up.
“We played in the Leasing.com Trophy but we changed the team for that so it’s been some time since we’ve had a real good first-team game.
“And it’s actually one of the positives about having the replay because without that we’d have another two weeks without a game.
“Christmas is busy for everybody but we’ll probably have a schedule in the run-up to Christmas where we’ll have two games a week.
“So hindsight in the end will tell us whether that’s a good or a bad thing.
“We’ll obviously try get on a run and pick up as many points as we can, but there’s a busy schedule coming.”