Gosport Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore toasted his side’s remarkable FA Trophy run and admitted: It’s outrageous to be two games away from Wembley.
The 23-year-old stopper was named man of the match as the Skrill South club recorded the biggest win of their 70-year history – a 2-1 quarter-final success at Skrill North leaders North Ferriby United on Saturday.
The hosts entered the game as overwhelming favourites, having recorded successive 4-0 wins over Skrill Premier opponents Lincoln City and Woking in previous rounds.
But they trailed 2-0 at the break as Sammy Igoe and Tim Sills calmly fired the underdogs into a shock half-time lead.
Then after Dean Lisles pulled a goal back, an inspired Ashmore repelled all that was thrown at him.
That included a sprawling finger-tip save from Anthony Wilson in the closing stages that confirmed Alex Pike’s side would be in tomorrow’s two-legged semi-final draw and earned the club £8,000 in prize money.
Ashmore said: ‘We are two games away from playing at Wembley, which is outrageous!
‘No-one would have predicted we would be in the semi-finals of such a massive competition.
‘But we are in the last four and I’m absolutely buzzing.
‘I’ve never made a save as important as that (from Wilson).
‘But there was no way I was going to let them score a second goal.
‘I was doing everything in my power to save everything that was coming near me.
‘I got the slightest touch on it to take it on to the post and I was like: Yes!’
Ashmore was also full of praise for his opponents and admitted that he is surprised – having beaten a team of their quality – at where Borough find themselves in the table.
Despite their cup run, which also included a memorable success over Skrill Premier high-fliers Nuneaton Town, Gosport are second from bottom in Skrill South.
He said: ‘North Ferriby are a decent side – no doubt they will go on and win their league.
‘You do scratch your head after beating them at where we are but I know the league doesn’t lie.
‘It’s our first season in the Skrill South and now we’ve found our feet and got this cup run in action we are building momentum.
‘If you look at our goals against column we’ve conceded one of the least amounts. So we are not far off.’
And Ashmore is predicting big things for the remainder of the season – although he is in no mood to sacrifice his Wembley dream for league safety.
He said: ‘I think we will stay up this year. It would be nice to stay up and to get to the final at Wembley – that would be an amazing season.
‘But if you offered me FA Trophy success or staying in the Skrill South, then I’d just be greedy and say both!’