Manager Keith Hill spoke to the media following Rochdale’s 1-1 draw with Maidstone United at the Gallagher Stadium…
Callum Camps’ stoppage time free-kick earned Dale a replay at the Crown Oil Arena, after the Stones had lead from the 21st minute.
Hill commented: “The whole tie has changed on a marvellous bit of skill. I wasn’t overly concerned about the way we were playing, but we could have made better opportunities with the ball.
“The opposition are a good side and it was a difficult game for us to manage. We know that you raise your standards when you’re playing teams from the leagues above.
“There’s a magic to the FA Cup and we’re still in it. That’s down to the believe of the players because they never gave in when they quite easily could have done. There’s something special about the spirit of this squad and their never say die attitude.”
He continued: “We never gave in and we gave ourselves the chance of getting something from the tie in the second half, because we started the second half superbly well and I thought we had two or three really good opportunities where, if we score, then potentially the I think the tie is handed over to us a little bit.
“But you’ve got to give credit to the opposition – they’re well organised and a very good unit.
“We’ve dodged a bullet matrix style, so let’s go and do it again.”
Hill was without several key players for the tie and he says the squad is down to its bare bones.
“We’ve had a lot of problems this week with respect to injuries and illness. We are now down to the bare depths with respect to our squad.
“That, today, was our squad in its entirety in terms of who was available for us. I’m pleased with the changes that we had to make and the responses that we got.”