Mansfield manager admitted his team were second best for long spells against Peterborough United, but they came good when it mattered
But Clough praised his side for hanging in before dominating the final 20 minutes, at the end of which they equalised at 2-2 with their second penalty kick of the tie.
Clarke-Harris had scored both goals including a soft one Pym should have saved.“For quite long spells we were second best as they were so good,” Clough told the Mansfield Chad. “There wasn't too much we were doing wrong. They were just very competent.
“The respect they showed us by naming a full side said everything.
“They are a top side in League One and you can see the big difference with the pace and the speed they moved the ball. We just hung on in there.
“We could not play out as they were literally putting up everybody man to man against us. And we didn't want to concede silly goals when they were so good.
“The free kick we conceded was a bit soft. The movement on the ball just deceived Christy Pym and he was a bit disappointed with it at half-time.
“But he made some important saves in the second-half and again in the penalty shoot-out.
“We hung in there trying not to concede that third goal and at 2-1 anything can happen in the last 20 minutes.
“I thought the equaliser was coming. It was no more than we deserved for hanging on in there.
“We are trying to go toe to toe with these teams and you have to be patient at times as they are better than us. And the crowd have to be patient too and not get too frustrated as if we squeeze up to them they will cut us to ribbons.
“We got more in their faces after we made some substitutions and once we got to the last 20 minutes you really saw the crowd come into their own with the noise which was brilliant.”
It’s the first time in 48 years Mansfield have reached the fourth round of the EFL Cup.