Holwell Sports manager Simon Daws described his players as “warriors” after their high octane FA Cup replay win over higher-league Kirby Muxloe.
Graham Wells’ goal midway through the second half put Sports through to the first qualifying round for the second year running, equalling their best run in the world’s biggest domestic competition.
The 90 minutes may have lacked bags of goals, but not drama as a full-blooded tie also drew three red cards and a disallowed Kirby effort.
“It was a good game, both sides were committed and it could’ve gone either way, but I just felt we did a bit more,” said Daws.
“Three years ago Kirby beat us 6-5 in the FA Vase so we owed them one and we got the result we deserved.
“Both teams were tired after Saturday and a few of our players were carrying knocks and niggles so I was a bit worried about fitness, but they were very determined.
“They have surprised me in the last two games; they have dug deep when the tank is empty. They are a team of warriors.”
The replay, secured after a disciplined 0-0 draw at Kirby on Saturday, drew one of the biggest crowds in recent seasons as 166 spectators flocked to Welby Road.
The club should expect another bumper attendance for the next round after Holwell received a home draw against Evostik Southern Premier League? side Bedworth United on Saturday, September 12.
Daws added: “It was a great atmosphere and they are the kind of days and nights we want up here.
“It will be difficult against Bedworth, but the home draw will help us - they won’t enjoy coming here.”
As well as the prestige and adrenalin of a good cup run, Tuesday’s win also brought another practical benefit, earning another precious £1,925 bonus for the club’s cash-strapped coffers.
“We needed the money and we were aware we needed a good cup run,” he said.
“We kicked off the season with about £80 in the bank so we knew we needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
“If we can get through the next one, we should be on a good footing for the season.”
Daws applauded every one of his team, but reserved special praise for new signing Julian Joachim.
He added: “It’s great for the crowd to see someone like that. The pace he shows for a 40-year-old is incredible.
“Joachim was outstanding last night and is forming a good partnership with Graham Wells.
“He’s also a great chap to have in the dressing room and a real gentleman.
“He encourages all the lads and conducts himself really well. A lot of today’s professionals could learn a lot from him.”