BY RICHARD CAWLEY
David Flitcroft lavished praise on Lyle Taylor after the Charlton striker’s hat-trick helped dump his Mansfield side out of the FA Cup last night.
The Addicks started with the frontman due to the fact that he is suspended for their League One fixture on Saturday.
And Taylor walked away with the matchball as he took his season’s goal haul to 12. The South Londoners face Doncaster Rovers in round two.
Stags boss Flitcroft was unhappy at Charlton’s third goal – referee Kevin Johnson reversing a free-kick which the hosts took quickly to score from.
He said: “I evaluate the game how it should be evaluated. I feel for a group of players tonight and supporters who have travelled down who were on the end of what looks like a 5-0 kicking.
“But if you’re honest with yourself, which I always am, we certainly didn’t deserve a 5-0 scoreline.
“I think it’s a travesty when you have a refereeing decision at 2-0 and capitulate [the match officials] – almost go into their shell. You’re meant to lead the game, you’re meant to manage the game and they got the decision totally wrong at 2-0.
“My players have run up the pitch, my centre-halves have run up the pitch for a free-kick which has been awarded to us, and he’s changed his mind and it’s gone the other way.
“To let them take the free-kick….I’m not going to judge that performance on the last eight minutes of sort of chaos. I’m going to judge it on what we’ve tried to do coming down here.
“We had a really good start and moved the ball brilliantly and created good chances. CJ [Hamilton] is not offside, I’ve had a look at that one. He’s got on the backside of the centre-halves and scored a fantastic goal.
“We’ve had good chances and at 1-0 down we stayed spirited, focused and true to what we do. If I’m being honest I was disappointed to go in 1-0 down. We rallied and even at 2-0 I genuinely believed we’d get back into the game. At 3-0 it was a travesty.
“Congratulations to Charlton. Lyle Taylor didn’t play up there [in the first meeting between the sides]. We had a really good chance last week to get into the next round and we didn’t. They’ve put Lyle in and he’s a wonderful player. I rated him really highly when he was down at Wimbledon but I think what the management team have done here – the development curve he is on; he’s going to be a top, top player. He’s got everything in front of him.
“They had five or six opportunities to score and they took every single one.
“His third goal was Eric Cantona-esque wasn’t it? It was brilliant.
“We haven’t got beaten by the referee tonight. We’ve got beaten by a very good Charlton team, a very good manager and an extremely talented player [Taylor].
“His workrate – the tackle he put in on [Danny] Rose – his energy was brilliant. I’m really impressed with him tonight.”
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