Charlton AthleticSport

Steve McKimm praises Cray Valley (PM) side after they earn FA Cup replay against Charlton Athletic

Cray Valley Paper Mills boss Steve McKimm praised his side after they held League One Charlton to a 1-1 draw in the first round of the FA Cup at The Valley.

The Addicks did take an early lead through Scott Fraser but the Millers, backed by nearly 2,000 supporters in SE7, were level shortly after the break through a Lucas Ness own-goal.

The non-league outfit, who play in the Isthmian League South East Division, belied the five-tier gap between the two teams to force a replay with a second round tie at Gillingham awaiting the victors.

McKimm said: “Extremely proud. My staff get a mention because they are an unbelievable support network. My players are the stars of the show. They’re the ones that go out there and do it.

“For all of my career, I’ve always had a lot of spirit about me. I’ve tried to install that into my players. Nothing is over until it is over. The writing could have been on the wall. When I was at Tonbridge we had Bradford and they went 1-0 up and ended up getting done 7-0. I made the mistake of going gung-ho and thinking we can go toe-to-toe with Bradford because they were struggling in League Two. I wasn’t going to make that mistake today.

“Charlton are not far from the play-offs. They’ve got good players and a good manager. We knew we couldn’t come and be expansive. What I did like, going 1-0 down, we didn’t freeze. My players looked after the ball and used the ball well. We weren’t a smash and grab team. We played some really good football for a step eight team. At the end of it, testament to my players, they end up bringing on five of their 16 that play week in, week out in League One.

“I’m not going to kid anybody, we didn’t play Charlton’s first team. But we played a team full of professionals who train every day and have got the fitness and nutrition that comes with being a professional footballer. My boys were superb today.”


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