New Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill was impressed with his side’s display despite needing extra-time to see off National League South Oxford City 1-0 in the second round of the FA Cup.
Daniel Udoh’s extra-time goal ensured a winning start for Cotterill as Town manager, having replaced the sacked Sam Ricketts on Friday.
Udoh was introduced as a substitute by Cotterill and grabbed the winner in the 108th minute when he swept home a shot on the turn.
The goal came after both teams were reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute, with Shrewsbury’s Aaron Pierre and Oxford City’s James Roberts sent off following an aerial clash between the two.
“I thought it was a very important game for us,” said Cotterill.
“I thought that we did some things really, really well in today’s game. I thought some of the phases in our play was excellent and even though we’ve had a short space of time, some of those things came out today.
“Even though it was hard work and we had to force it, I thought we were good today. Possession wise, I thought we were very good. At times, if anything, we gave up possession because we were so impatient to do well we were forcing situations rather than keeping possession.
“If you keep possession, the opportunities will come your way anyway, so that was the only disappointing thing for me today, but in terms of that, what I’ve said to the lads was they were that eager to please I believe today and wanted to do well that sometimes you can get that uptight and you try and force that pass that isn’t on in the first place.”
Oxford City, first-round winners against Northampton, forced some good saves from Shrewsbury goalkeeper Matija Sarkic in the second half, but the home side also created opportunities, with Marc Pugh’s late effort cleared off the line.
Cotterill added: “It could have been a lot more comfortable than 1-0 if those chances had gone in.
“Having said that, Mati’s made a couple of important saves, a block with his knee. I don’t know whether they were as good as the chances we’ve had, I haven’t had time to look back at them.
“I didn’t feel ultra anxious if you know what I mean on them, but I think we deserved to win the game in the end – but in the next breath I want to give Oxford City a lot of credit for how they have performed today because I thought they were excellent. Very, very difficult.”
Oxford City manager David Oldfield was proud of his side’s efforts against League One opposition.
Oldfield said: “We were proud during the game. I felt that first half we had more to come, we could have passed it better, we could have pressed better. We’ve certainly done it better previously.
“But the commitment the boys showed, the togetherness and the real desire to dig deep against a really good team. They’re League One, we are where we are, so, no, the pride was evident during the game – and it’s very much here now.
“These boys are part-time players. They work their socks off in their job and they come and work so hard at football as well, so we can be nothing but grateful for their efforts and their commitment to the process.”