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1 December 2012

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Boss delight as Hatters go into round three

Paul Buckle will watch Sunday’s FA Cup third round draw with plenty of pride after seeing his side get their name in the hat following a 2-1 win over Dorchester at Kenilworth Road.

The manager was pleased with his side’s victory – thanks to goals from Andre Gray and Alex Lawless – but was left to mull over conceding another goal from a set-piece that brought Dorchester back into a game they looked down and out in.

Arran Pugh’s goal gave the Magpies hope, but while disappointed with that Buckle was happy with the way his team held onto secure a place in third round draw alongside the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

“Normally people go away from a game remembering the last 15 or 20 minutes but our supporters won’t today because we were hanging on at the end,” the manager told Hatters Player afterwards.

“At that point we should have been further than just 2-0 ahead. We approached the game right and did a lot very well in the first half.

“In the second half we’ve kicked on and got a second and at that point you thought there was only going to be one winner.

“But I need to look at the DVD for their goal. We might have switched off, but I thought we defended well in the closing stages and showed great character. I’m proud of the players for getting through. Any team from our league that gets in the third round of the FA Cup is doing something right.”

The tie was the second this week between the two sides and both will meet again on Tuesday in a first round replay in the FA Trophy.

“I think we deserved to win both games,” Buckle said. “I think overall on the balance of play we’ve created a lot of chances and I think we knocked the stuffing out of them a bit today.

“That will mean they will come out fighting on Tuesday.”

Victory also means the Town have their first FA Cup third round tie since a January 2010 trip to Southampton.

Like all Hatters supporters, Buckle is hoping for a plum tie.

“Fingers crossed we can draw a big Premier League club,” said the boss. “It’s great we’re in there. The whole thing will elevate the club – and that’s what we want to achieve.

“I’m proud to be the manager of Luton Town and what I, and the players, want, is to put on performances and win games and, by and large, we’ve been doing that.

“It’s massive for this club and the players. They are an honest group. We know there’s a lot to work on still after today but we’re in the draw and that’s all that counts.”

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