Wealdstone dreaming of Wembley as FA Trophy run continues

Ryman League side march into the semi-finals thanks to stunning win over Cambridge United

Wealdstone are two games away from a Wembley cup final after a stunning win over Cambridge United on Saturday booked their place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy.

The Stones’ incredible run in the competition continued as Richard Jolly earned them a 2-1 win over the Blue Square South Premier Division side, setting up a clash with Newport County.

Gordon Bartlett’s side will take on the Welsh outfit in a two-legged semi-final, and are out for revenge against the team that knocked them out in the first round of last season’s competition.

With a prize fund of �16,000 up for grabs, Wealdstone will travel to Wales for the first leg on Saturday, March 10, with the return leg at Grosvenor Vale seven days later.


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Grin

“We played them last season and they beat us with virtually the last kick of the game, we had a taste of it so it will be nice to have another go,” Bartlett told the Times.

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“There have been a few times over the last few days when I’ve shaken my head and had a little grin to myself. The amount of congratulatory messages I’ve had have been incredible, so much so that my phone froze and I lost all my numbers.!”

Newport, managed by former Tottenham star Justin Edinburgh, will provide formidable opposition, but Bartlett is in bullish mood having seen his side defeat Blue Square sides three times already.

Prior to Saturday’s win at Cambridge, Wealdstone had already beaten Barrow 2-1 in the second round and Dartford 1-0 in a third round replay.

“Three rounds on the trot we’ve gone in as massive underdogs, but we’re still there and we’re getting very close,” said Bartlett. “No-one gave us a hope in any of the games.

“I said to the boys prior to the Barrow game that when they get old like the coaching staff, there are only a few days that they will look back on and remember.

“I told them to make that game one that they remember. I didn’t think they would have three on the bounce, it’s incredible!

“We need to look at the stability for the future, which normally means relying on a couple of rounds of the FA Cup, but we blew that big time this season by losing in the first round.

“I think the board are grateful for making a bit more in the FA Trophy. Now we have a two-legged semi-final, and the prospect of all of us going to Wembley.”

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