Skipper Liam Dolman believes Daventry Town’s performance at Sky Bet League Two high-flyers Chesterfield on Saturday can be the springboard for the team to win promotion this season.
Darran Foster’s men were beaten 2-0 at the Proact Stadium, but for the opening hour they were a match for a team playing four levels higher than them on the football pyramid.
It wasn’t until the 69th minute that Chesterfield broke the deadlock through Gary Roberts, and they wrapped it up witha late deflected goal from Jimmy Ryan.
“We have gone to Chesterfield and I thought we gave a good account of ourselves, especially in the first half,” said Dolman.
“In the second half thequality of Chesterfield shone through, and they were deserved winners in the end.
“They also changed their formation a bit in the second half, and we didn’t get to grips with it.
“Once the first goal went in it completely killed us, and then the fitness started to show, our heads dropped a little bit, and Chesterfield kept the ball a lot better than we did
“Football is all ifs and buts, and if we had taken one of our chances in the first half then you never know.
“But we did ouselves justice against a very good Chesterfield side, so we are disappointed but pleased at the same time.”
And he added: “For a little town such as Daventry to get this far in the FA Cup is fantastic.
“It’s a great thing for the town.
“Promotion is our main aim, and we are still in the FA Trophy as well and are going well in that.
“We go out to win every game, no matter what competition it is.
“We have fallen behind in the league because of the FA Cup run, but we have games in hand.
“We are only five or six points behind, and if we can win our games in hand then we will be right back up there.
“We need to do that and get everybody else chasing us again.”
Dolman turned in an exceptional performance before being forced off the field with a hamstring strain after 54 minutes.
Dolman sad: “I tweaked my hamstring when running in the first half, but I though ‘I’ll get through this and carry on’, like the warrior I think I am!
“But in the second half I have gone in for a tackle,and my hamstring has just gone and I had to come off.
“I wasn’t doing myself justice, or the team.
“But it was gutting to have to come off.
“As a non-League player, in the FA Cup, you want to play at these grounds.
“And to have to come off after 54 minutes was heartbreaking for me.
“I was upset, I’m not going to lie, but that’s football, it happens.
“Hopefully the injury isn’t too bad and I can come back stronger.”
Leaving the field early did have one benefit for Dolman, as he was treated to a standing ovation from all four sides of the stadium. Even from the Chesterfield fans that had been taunting him about his size!
“It was great to get a good reception when I came off,” said Dolman.
“I was getting a bit of stick at times, but I know I am going to get that.
“But to get a reception like that from a home crowd that have been on your back a bit and having a bit of banter, is a nice feeling.”