sport

Cox feels Pirates pain

Paul Cox empathised with Bristol Rovers counterpart Darrell Clarke after Mansfield's 1-0 win sent the Pirates down.

A first-half goal from Colin Daniel condemned Rovers to non-league football next season. With Northampton and Wycombe both securing wins, even the support of a 10,000-plus crowd was not enough to keep the Pirates in Sky Bet League Two.

Cox said: "You don't enjoy seeing grown men cry on the pitch at the end of the game. I asked my lads to play with pride, but we respect Bristol Rovers as a big club and I am sure they will be back.

"I know Darrell Clarke and can only imagine what is going through his head at the moment. We take no pleasure in sending a club out of the (Football) League. It's a harsh way to learn, but he will emerge a stronger person for it.

"The lads have shown a lot of pride and we will look to do better next season. Rovers have thrown the kitchen sink at us in the second half and we had to dig in."