Relief for Slade after shootout
Russell Slade hailed Leyton Orient for edging through in the Capital One Cup 6-5 on penalties at Plymouth after a 3-3 extra-time draw.
The tie finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and Slade admitted: "You could not write it really. I thought we were excellent when we went 2-0 up."
Substitute Dean Cox celebrated his 27th birthday with Orient's 13th-minute opener from 20 yards and then crossed for Matthieu Baudry to head the visitors' second after 38 minutes.
Plymouth striker Reuben Reid made it 2-1 in stoppage-time and then restored parity in the 65th minute after beating O's skipper Nathan Clarke before firing past keeper Gary Woods.
Cox crossed for fellow substitute Romain Vincelot to head Orient's third goal in the 104th minute before Carl McHugh levelled four minutes later to send the tie to penalties.
Slade added: "We were in control and then we gave them a lifeline just before half-time when we were actually trying to get a third goal at the other end.
"That gave them a little bit of momentum and they got back in it. We were comfortable enough I felt at 2-2.
"Then a couple of our players who have not had minutes on the pitch started to struggle, there were a few warning signals, so we did well in the end to get through the 120 minutes and to penalties.
"Gary Woods made a couple of great penalty saves and we needed him in that period of extra time, he made some good saves, when there were players out there that I didn't want out there at that particular stage.
"In that respect it was a difficult night for us. I don't think anybody wants extra time in the first Tuesday of the season.
"It's all about recovery now between now and Saturday.
"That's going to be the biggest part of the rest of the week for both sets of players.
"I notice Plymouth have got Exeter on Saturday, which is no small game from their point of view."
Argyle boss John Sheridan said: "I am just disappointed for the boys because they played well in the second half and in extra time.
"I will take the positives from coming back from 2-0 down against a team who are favourites to go up from a higher division than us.
"Everyone was getting edgy in the first half, but that is part and parcel of football. You get on with it and be brave.
"A good thing that has come out of the game is that the lads showed a lot of character.
"We get a little break just before half-time, thanks to Reuben. I thought Reuben and Jason (Banton) were the two who were causing them problems.
"Reuben has got the goals and in second half and all of extra time I thought we were tremendous.
"There were a lot of good things about the way we played, especially after the way we had started, and giving away sloppy goals."