Colchester United boss Hayden Mullins praises AFC Sudbury on and off the pitch during tonight's FA Cup tie
Colchester United manager Hayden Mullins has praised the way AFC Sudbury conducted themselves both on and off the pitch during this evening's Emirates FA Cup first round tie.
The EFL League Two outfit ensured that there would no giant-killing with a routine 4-0 victory against their part-time hosts, with two goals coming in either half at The MEL Group Stadium.
However, it was a performance full off spirit from Sudbury, while the supporters inside the ground stuck by their team throughout – something that did not go unnoticed by the Colchester boss.
"If I'm their manager tonight I'd be very happy with my team – they gave everything they had and they kept going right until the end," said Mullins, a 2010 FA Cup runner-up with Portsmouth during his playing days.
"They've got threats as well, on the counter-attack they looked a threat.
"Obviously the big positive for them tonight as a football club is the money they've generated, they've had a TV game and the fans have come out. I'm sure they hope a few of them stay for the next home game.
"It was a fantastic occasion. Driving down, coming through the town, the fans were walking around and it felt like a big game. We got here and the atmosphere was fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
"Only this competition can do this – put local rivals that far apart in the divisions against each other and that's fantastic. It was a great game, we were excited for it as well."
Mullins was equally impressed by the performance of his players, who took control early on and never looked like relinquishing it.
"The job from start to finish was a good, professional one. I asked the boys to respect the opposition, to give us a professional performance," he said.
"It was a potential banana skin and the atmosphere was fantastic. If you let the home team get up a head of steam it could be a difficult evening but the boys did really well.
"We carved out quite a lot of chances and on another day if you're not too focused you could let it slip and they get in the back door."