ALAN Devonshire has hailed the character of Maidenhead United after a memorable draw at Port Vale in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Maids recovered from falling a goal behind to draw 1-1 at Vale Park, with James Mulley earning hero status for his 93rd minute equaliser.

Their reward is a money-spinning first round replay at York Road next Thursday, which will be screened live by BT Sport and is worth at least £33,750.

Maidenhead boss Devonshire insists his team deserved a share of the spoils, and that moments like that mean everything to a non-league club.

He told the Observer: “I thought they were on the ropes a bit in the last 15-20 minutes, trying to keep the ball in the corner, and we got what we fully deserved.

“I’m just so proud of the players, they’ve been absolutely fantastic, every one of them. We needed all our players to be on top form, but it was just the character of the side to keep on going.

“We’re a part-time team but we were finishing the game stronger in the last 15 minutes so I’m just totally delighted. I’m just so pleased for them.

“The players have shown what they can do with all the hard work they’ve put in, and they deserved a goal right at the end.

“It was just about the character of the side and the way we kept on going, the whole lot of them. We’re a young side and I’m just over the moon, so delighted to draw at a big club like Port Vale.”

“I think we deserved it. I think a draw was a fair result at the end of the day with all that was going on.

“We had a few chances and there was a few appeals as well. There was a hand-ball in the box at one stage with a few minutes to go.

“We worked our nuts off and sometimes you don’t get what you deserved, but I felt we did on Sunday.”

Devonshire continued: “We know what we’re about. We knew we were causing problems with the subs we put on. It worked and I’m just pleased for them.

“Port Vale could’ve gone down the other end, broken away and got the second goal. That would’ve been game over but at the end of the day they didn’t and I felt we got what we deserved.

“Fans aren’t stupid and they know they’ve seen a decent performance from us.

“They will probably be disappointed in their team, but today was our day and I’m delighted.”

The proud Maidenhead manager added: “I felt Rene Steer maybe should have done a little better for the goal, but at the end of the day we showed a lot of character and we fully deserve to take them back to our place.

“It’s fantastic and it means everything for a small club like us. Peter [Griffin, chairman] can save himself a few quid with the replay, and I’m pleased for him as well.”