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Gavin Cowan: AFC Telford have completed part one of their mission

Gavin Cowan insisted his AFC Telford United players have completed part one of their mission after a narrow defeat to non-league big boys Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy.

Gavin Cowan during the FA Trophy semi final first leg fixture between Leyton Orient and AFC Telford United at Brisbane Road
Gavin Cowan during the FA Trophy semi final first leg fixture between Leyton Orient and AFC Telford United at Brisbane Road

Macauley Bonne's second half close range finish was all that separated the sides in a tight affair in swirling east London wind at Brisbane Road.

Both sides had chances, and Orient could have taken the game away from Telford had their finishing been more on point.

But equally the Bucks had chances of their own, and are well in the tie heading to the New Bucks Head next week.

Cowan praised his battling Bucks, and said they were professional and completed phase one of their mission.

He said: "It was disappointing to concede in the manner we did, but the lads showed courage and defended resolutely.

"Ultimately it is mission accomplished as phase one was to stay in the tie.

"The lads enjoyed the pressure but I think they need to trust themselves more in the mid phase and shorten their game.

"They need to have more courage on the ball as we tried to go too early too often.

"There was just some more composure needed.

"We have come to a magnificent club and I thought the lads approached it really professionally."

The Bucks had chances in the second half with Daniel Udoh and Andre Brown were both denied, as the visitors went in search of a late leveller.

The result sets the tie up nicely now for a packed out crown at the New Bucks Head next week.

Cowan admitted his side will be going all guns blazing next Saturday to bring it home in front of their home fans.

He added: "Today the message was a lead or stay in the tie.

"We are in the tie so we have achieved that.

"We can take them back to our place now and put them under pressure and get our fans to help us bring it home.

"I can't imagine they will be reserved coming to us, we will be going all guns blazing.

"It is good to still be in the tie, it gives our fans coming to get their teeth into.

"It is a great time of excitement for the club and there is everything to play for."

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