Banbury United boss paid tribute his players after they booked their place in the next round of the Evo-Stik Southern League Cup.
Jack Harding emerged the hero as the Puritans bounced back from Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup heartache at Wealdstone to beat Cirencester Town 5-2 on penalties in Tuesday’s first round tie at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.
The two sides finished all square at 1-1 at full-time and, with no extra-time in the competition, the tie went straight to a penalty shoot-out.
Both goals came in the second half with Aidan Bennett giving Cirencester the lead five minutes after the restart. Skipper Andy Gunn came off the bench to head home the equaliser from a corner in the 78th minute.
Ford said: That was a really good response from the players, they showed great character.
“I think we were the better team for most of the tie but it was a disappointing way to concede again.
That was a really good response from the players
“Cirencester were living on the edge towards the end and I felt we could have got the second goal if we had a little more time.
“The substitutes made a good impact, Andy Gunn got the equaliser and Conor McDonagh showed a real willingness to get hold of the game and make a difference.
“Again Jack Harding didn’t have that much to do but he made a very good save in each half. Jack will always save penalties and I’m really pleased for him because he’s a fantastic lad.”