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Cody McDonald admitted that Gillingham may not have had the strength and experience to match Stevenage but they did have the heart.
A young Gills side, captained by 21-year-old Callum Davies, beat Stevenage 1-0 despite playing a large chunk of the second half with just 10 men.
He said: “They are a physical team, they went a bit longer later on and I thought the lads dealt with it brilliantly.
“We had to work really hard out there and in the second half the lads did. For such a young team they stuck together really well and it was a great win for us.
“Stevenage are a real physical team and we are a young one. We might not have been as strong as them physically but in the end we could have won by more.
“I think the manager is pretty happy with the performance and the energy levels. Our name is in the hat for the next round.”
Gillingham won the match with a penalty, scored by Luke Norris, after McDonald was fouled in the box by keeper Chris Day.
The goalie stayed on, after receiving only a yellow card. It could easily have been a red.
“I am not too sure about that one and I will have to have a look over it again,” he said.
“I would have definitely got (the ball). I am not one for getting people sent off but if it’s the rules then that’s the rules. We got a good win though and that’s the main thing.”
Absolutely buzzing for the win tonight especially having been giving the armband. Well done to all the team ???? @TheGillsFC— Callum Davies (@cjdavies20) September 2, 2014
The Gills are now in the hat for Saturday’s round two draw.
McDonald said: “I am sure a lot of teams don’t take it seriously but there is Wembley at the end if the road and if we win a couple more rounds, you never know, then we could get a little more excited.
“At the minute we’ll just take each game as it comes and if that was to happen the lads would be buzzing.”
McDonald left the pitch at the break as a precaution, having only just returned from injury.
He said: “I am a little bit behind and I have only done one 90 minutes but another 45 minutes will only help me.
“I feel okay but I just need a few more 90 minutes under my belt. I am looking forward to Friday now (against Coventry).”
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