Ronnie Moore said Hartlepool United’s late, late FA Cup exit to Derby County was a “sickener”.
Pools took the lead on the hour with a brilliant volley from Jake Gray for his third goal of the season, following a great run by Michael Woods.
At that point, Pools were on-course to repeat their FA Cup upset against the Rams back in 1984.
However, Derby boss Paul Clement had an array of talent he could bring off the bench, with wing wizard Johnny Russell and Jacob Buttterfield coming on.
And ex-Boro midfield Butterfield brought County level with a stunning shot from outside the box with his first touch in the 67th minute.
Pools looked destined for a deserved replay only for Darren Bent to finish superbly past Trevor Carson three minutes from time for Derby’s winner.
“It’s a knife in the heart coming so late,” shrugged Moore.
“The sickener is they didn’t have to work hard for their goals.
“We could have cleared the ball for their goals, but it didn’t happen.
“Overall they couldn’t begrudge us a second go and while we don’t really want a replay, we deserved another crack at them.”
Moore had praise for the Pools goal as Gray got on the end of a positive run from Woods.
“Woodsy made a great run and it was a great ball and justr asking to be put in and Gray took it well,” said the manager.