Describe how it feels to reach the semi-finals

I can’t praise these lads enough; they’ve had to dig in because we haven’t played well.

It’s absolutely brilliant to get through though.

We’ve come a long way to reach this stage but the journey hasn’t ended yet.

There are two more games to play, both of them probably tougher even than this one.

But once again we’ve proved the bookies wrong and beaten a side who they had made favourites to knock us out.

You seemed to struggle to take advantage after the sending off

When they went down to 10 men, we perhaps thought that would be it.

But they’re a very good side; you don’t go on an unbeaten run like they have if you’re not.

I’ll be honest; I thought we’d blown our opportunity when the second-half of extra-time was about to start and we hadn’t found a way through.

We felt we were fitter than them but it didn’t show.

Too often we gave away the ball or made poor decisions, but I just hoped a chance would fall to somebody.

Did half-time disrupt the first bit of momentum you had?

I don’t think so.

If anything, we wanted to calm down the players and get their feet back on the ground.

They needed a reminder that the game was very much alive at 1-1 and there was a job to do.

We urged them to keep trying to play football but they didn’t and there were too many long balls.

It was nervy in the second-half. Did that surprise you?

They were better than us after half-time.

We expected them to tire though and they did.

I turned the heads of my players to look at theirs when we turned around for the second-half of extra-time.

All of their guys were stretching because they had cramp.

We had to be patient still and we had a stroke of luck with the second goal when it took a deflection.

It was good play before that though to win back the ball.

Coping in adversity

Andy Fitgerald was knocked out in the first-half and carried on. He didn’t want to come off.

Then we lost our other central defender, Kieron Kenny, and had to put on Lewis Brownhill.

That’s not his position, so we told him to let Fitzy challenge their number nine and for him to try and pick up the pieces.

He did a great job for us to be fair because he’s experienced and has that know-how.

Don’t forget we were without Brandon Barski and Matty Clarke through suspension and one or two others were patched up and hadn’t trained in midweek.

Are you able to enjoy a cagey, chess-like game as a manager?

No! Definitely ont.

My staff had to tell me to calm down because I was caught up in the emotion of what was going on. I can’t help that.

I was screaming at players and they guys with me in the dugout were shouting at me.

Even after the third goal went in I was frantic and shouted at our goalkeeper to get back on his line because there was still time left to play.

Listen, none of my lads – with the exception of Lewis Brownhill who won the FA Vase with Thatcham last season – had been in that position before.

I haven’t as a manager.

Sholing had six guys in their squad who were at Wembley with them when they won in the final.

I think they had that belief they would win this game even with 10 men.