Holdsworth delight at Imps victory
Lincoln City manager David Holdsworth was a proud man as he saw his battling Imps book a second-round tie against his old club Mansfield after they beat League One side Walsall in their FA Cup first-round replay last night.
Alan Power stroked City into a 50th-minute lead and although Richard Taundry levelled late on for the Saddlers to send the tie into extra-time, super-sub Vadaine Oliver struck twice to give Lincoln an unassailable lead that was eaten into at the death as Jamie Paterson's free-kick found its way past keeper Paul Farman. But City hung on in the final few seconds to secure their first-ever victory in the FA Cup against a side from two rungs higher than them.
A jubilant Holdsworth said: 'It was a culmination of guts, effort, willingness, character and more importantly togetherness. Everybody played their part and the lads were absolutely fantastic. The whole club is very proud and I am very proud to be the manager.
'Recent results have galvanised us and we have been on a fantastic run. We wanted to be together and that was the most important role for us. They were outstanding and dug in for each other and they all have a big smile on their faces.'
Holdsworth praised Irishman Power for his composed strike to give the Imps an early second-half lead, his second goal in two games.
'He showed composure,' added Holdsworth. 'It was a wonderful ball through and the timing of his run was excellent. It was a fantastic strike.'
The City boss reaffirmed how proud he was of his players, especially after Walsall levelled late on in normal time.
'They could easily have let their heads drop and let another one on and everyone would have gone 'never mind, great effort', but the boys didn't want that. They wanted to come out and show everyone what they're about. Full credit to the boys, they were magnificent.'
Super-sub Oliver, who took his tally to the season to five with his extra-time brace, also came in for praise from the Imps manager, with whom he shares lifts to the club every day.
'I thought Vadaine on the third goal was so brave. He could easily have been splattered by their keeper, but he wanted it most.
'Jamie [Taylor] was getting beaten up their two big defenders. I didn't want to change the formation as I want continuity, but when he went on he took the workload off Jamie by winning his headers and didn't he win them?
"I got him off the streets of Sheffield after he was released by Wednesday and was without a club and he came to me with a smile on his face and a cap in his hand. I take him to work most days.
"He is a great kid and he can get better. He started at a big club and if he gets the opportunity he will go back to that level. He`s an old-fashioned striker and he can leap.'
Holdsworth also had special words for the 348 Imps fans who made the trek down to the Bescot Stadium.
'How good were our supporters? It sounded like the away end was full up and I hope all the fans are proud of their club after that. They can how much these players have enjoyed it and this is what it's all about, nights like these in the FA Cup.'
Some of the players were quick to get online and add their words on twitter, with man-of-the-ment Oliver tweeting: 'Can't thank everyone enough for their support. Still buzzing from the great result.'
Defender Tom Miller said: 'What a great feeling. Nine unbeaten, great effort for the boys, great support from the fans. Bring on the next game.'
Towering Imps defender Andrew Boyce commented: 'What a feeling. Amazing. All the fans were colossal. Brilliant.'
Midfielder Gary Mills added: 'Absolutely buzzing. Proper togetherness and team spirit shown from everyone... staff, players and fans.'
Jake Sheridan, who has come into his own in recent matches, said: 'Great result for everyone at the club, all the boys deserve it. The fans were quality as well. Keep the positivity going.'
Even unused sub Conner Robinson got in on the act: 'Over the moon for the boys. What a win, the fans were outstanding too.' Sub keeper Jake Turner was also full of delight: 'Absolutely buzzin' with that result. Lads were different class and fully deserved the win. The fans were quality too.'