King’s Lynn draw with Aveley in the FA Cup gives team something to build on, says manager
King's Lynn Town were unable to give manager Mark Hughes the perfect 40th birthday present by delivering an FA Cup win - but they did at least earn themselves a second bite of the cherry with a replay on Monday night.
After last Saturday's home capitulation against Southport, the Linnets gave a much better defensive display in front of only 570 supporters as many fans chose to stay away following the club's indifferent start to the campaign.
National League South Aveley's football was pretty to the eye - but it was Lynn who had the better opportunities to progress over the 90 minutes.
Hughes said: "I'm delighted with the clean sheet. I think we showed defensive frailties last week and I think there was a bit of an edge in the crowd during some of the moments in the first half.
"We defended to a man excellently and we grew into the game.
“Looking at some of the younger players that were out there, Harry Twite grew into the game and Cliffy (Tom Clifford) and Kian (Ronan) has come back in and I think they showed their quality up and down that wing and they'll only get stronger.
"I've just said to the players it's half-time now and we've got to really build on the clean sheet.
"I don't think either keeper was really tested, but there was a lot of great determination for both sides and yeah, we go again. on Monday.
"It was a real honest performance and we're still not where we want to be but it's a real good building block and we'll build on that."
Hughes hopes Lynn's full-time status will give his players the edge in Essex on Monday after seeing his side create the better of the chances in the second half at The Walks.
"I thought the last 15 or 20 minutes of the game was looking stretched. I thought we were getting stronger, which was really pleasing for myself and Adrian (Whitbread).
"But yeah, look, the first goal is going to really count on Monday night and that is going to be really important.
"I know it will be because the mentality then will shift and you've got something to hold on to. So that will be our message, start fast."