Stuart Ritchie proud despite Totton FA Cup defeat

AFC Totton
Totton are left crestfallen as Byron Anthony celebrates Bristol Rovers' fourth goal

AFC Totton boss Stuart Ritchie has spoken of his pride despite Saturday's 6-1 FA Cup defeat by Bristol Rovers.

The Stags, playing in their first-ever FA Cup second round tie, were left crushed after shipping three goals in the opening quarter of an hour.

"I've got huge pride to have got this far," said Ritchie. "To be disappointed to lose shows how far we've come.

"I'm proud of all the boys. At times, we tore them apart and that says it all," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"We had one off the line in the first half and their keeper has made some top saves.

"The supporters have been brilliant. They've been that way all through the run and I take my hat off to them."

Ritchie is confident that the club's FA Cup run will have a positive long-term impact on the club.

The Southern Premier League side have earned in excess of £100,000 from their FA Cup journey to the second round - over the course of their six ties.

"It gives us a foundation, financially speaking," said former Aston Villa trainee Ritchie. "Hopefully, it will make more people want to be involved in the club.

"When I first came in the place was a bit of a mess so it's great to have this now.

"Success breeds success and the record here shows if you keep going then success will come."

The Stags manager is now focussing his energy on ensuring the club gain promotion to Blue Square Bet South.

They sit one point off the top of the table but have three games in hand on leaders Leamington and have a far superior goal difference.

"There'll be no hangover after this," added Ritchie. "We've got a league game next week and we'll be right back on it.

"That's the positive about the group of boys I've got here."

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