Martin Allen thinks Notts County's performance warranted at least a replay as their FA Cup dream ended with a 1-0 defeat at Stevenage.
New Boro boss Gary Smith saw his side advance when Damion Stewart deflected Luke Freeman's strike into his own net early on in Saturday's fourth-round tie at Broadhall Way.
Magpies boss Allen said: "We were very average in the first half but absolutely superb in the second and dominated the game.
"It is a difficult place to come, they are a very powerful, hard-working, honest team.
"Until you win your knock-downs and your headers, you just get battered. I dealt with them calmly at half-time and they came out and battled for it.
"I warned them what Stevenage would have and I thought in the end we gave them a real run for their money, but it should have been for 90 minutes rather than 45."