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Boss urges Stones to build on Cup heroics

PUBLISHED: 13:39 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:46 24 August 2010

By Ian Cooper PROUD Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett hailed his side s battling display against Rotherham United in Sunday s FA Cup clash, and is calling for more of the same during the rest of the campaign. The Stones bowed out of the competition with

By Ian Cooper

PROUD Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett hailed his side's battling display against Rotherham United in Sunday's FA Cup clash, and is calling for more of the same during the rest of the campaign.

The Stones bowed out of the competition with their heads held high after giving the League Two outfit an almighty scare in a narrow 3-2 defeat.

Trailing 2-0 at the break, Wealdstone pummelled a panic-stricken Rotherham defence for most of a frantic second half, grabbing two spectacular goals from Ryan Ashe and coming within a whisker of sealing a famous result.

But while a second round place was just beyond his battling side, Bartlett believes the Stones must now use the experience as a springboard for the rest of their campaign.

"I'm very proud, but also bitterly disappointed, because I honestly believe we could have won," said Bartlett.

"There has been a positive vibe at the club all season, and this will only enhance it. The atmosphere on Sunday was absolutely electric, and everyone, from kids to pensioners, couldn't have failed to enjoy it.

"I said back in July that we've got a very good squad and we have to strive to play at the highest level possible within the financial constraints we have.

"We want to look back at this result in April and see it as a stepping stone in our season, rather than the highlight of it."

While the Stones may be out of one cup, a trip to Farnborough on Saturday week in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy will offer another chance to rekindle their Wembley dreams.

Before then, they take on Ryman Premier Division strugglers Margate and Cray Wanderers, with the chance to leap into the play-off spots.

"Now it's about how we respond," Bartlett added. "We've had a very good start but I'm not getting carried away - we have to maintain the same standards we showed on Sunday.

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