Scott Loach disappointed with FA Cup defeat but full of praise for Ipswich Town debutants

But Scott Loach has admitted the depth of his disappointment after the Blues were unable to keep hold of a 1-0 half-time lead through an own goal from Eric Lichaj and pull off a FA Cup shock.

Darren Bent, playing against his former club for the first time, equalised after 38 seconds of the restart and Andreas Wiemann gave Villa a narrow victory to book their place in tomorrow’s fourth round draw.

Loach said: “We are disappointed after going 1-0 up that we started the second half as sloppily as we did.

“But that is what happens when you let the quality of Darren Bent get a chance at goal.

“I think overall they might have edged it in the end. In the first-half we were more than a match and Shay (Given) had to make a few saves.

“At the end of the day, we walk away disappointed that we didn’t get a replay, but Aston Villa showed why they are in the Premier League.”

In addition to a decent away showing, another positive for the Blues was the full debuts of 18-year-old right-back Elliott Hewitt as well as new signings Patrick Kisnorbo, David McGoldrick and Aaron McLean, who came within a whisker of restoring Town’s lead just moments before Loach was beaten by a bullet header from Wiemann.

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The keeper said: “You have to give credit Elliott Hewitt, Aaron McLean, David McGoldrick who all looked very strong and solid on their debut.

“All we can do now is go back into training on Monday, show that competition for places, and concentrate on Cardiff on Saturday.”

And of the Town fans, numbering 2,900 in the away end and more among the Villa supporters, Loach added: “I know the Town fans complained that they didn’t get any more tickets. If they had got any more, they would have completely drowned out the home fans!

“Both sets of fans were great, they both made it a real good FA Cup atmosphere today. It was an end-to-end game and that is what makes this competition so special.

“Fans of both sides can walk away and say they saw a good game today.”

Meanwhile, Tommy Smith, who captained the side for the first time after both Carlos Edwards and Luke Chambers were named on the subs’ bench, tweeted after the game: “Felt honoured and privileged to wear the armband today.

“Disappointing not to get a result but great experience and the fans were immense!”

– Does Scott Loach think he has done enough to keep the number one shirt? Read his thoughts in Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star