Cooper: Blues must take heart from cup exit

Cooper: Blues must take heart from cup exit

The dream is on: Allan Tait turns to celebrate after netting Met Police's first ever goal in the FA Cup first round proper

Impressive: Allan Tait was in impressive form against his former club

Down and out: Met Police players let their emotions show at the final whistle having pushed League One Crawley Town so close

Shining light: Winger Craig Brown was on great form in the second half on Saturday

First blood: Met Police keeper Jamie Butler leads the inquest into Crawley's opening goal

Letting rip: Met Police's Billy Crook lets fly on Saturday

First published in Sport Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Met Police boss Jimmy Cooper has told his men they must take inspiration from narrowly missing out on taking League One Crawley Town to an FA Cup first round proper replay.

Allan Tait's 83rd minute strike - against his former club - set up a grandstand finish at Imber Court after goals from Josh Simpson and Billy Clarke had put the visitors 2-0 up, but the Red Devils held on to win 2-1.

A Jay Lovett header was cleared off the line and Howard Newton hit the post as the Ryman Premier League pushed their more illustrious opponents all the way in the closing stages of a second-half they had dominated.

And Cooper, who admitted many of his players could move on to bigger and better things after their cup exploits, reckoned his team had more than done themselves justice. 

"In the FA Cup, you need a bit of luck and a team like Crawley not to be at their best.  All we were missing was the luck," he said.

"The game plan was to soak up what we knew they would throw at us in the first half and then go at them in the second half.

"We showed them a bit too much respect at the start, but on the whole it worked.

"I think we should have had a penalty in the scramble at the end and I think we were unlucky not to get a draw.

"It was a fantastic performance and we must take inspiration from this. They are third in League One and we pushed them very close." 

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