Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell has described reaching the FA Vase final as “the greatest day of my life after my wedding day” after his club beat Bitton 1-0 to book a day out at Wembley.
Calvin Smith’s 114th-minute strike was all that separated the two sides in a hard-fought semi-final at Belle View Stadium.
Frank, pictured top with wife Dianne, told BBC Radio Newcastle: “I just broke down in tears – it was one of the best days I could possibly imagine, absolutely wonderful.”
On the prospect of a Wembley showdown on Sunday 27 September with Northern League rivals Hebburn Town, who won on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Corinthian, he said: “It’s absolutely fabulous.
“Vinny [Pearson, Hebburn chairman] and I have been talking since March about this, and this has been our dream, to get the Northern League represented by two sides down there. So look out the rest of the country, the Northern League is back.”
“Whatever tickets they give us, we will sell them. If they give us 10,000, we’ll sell 10,000. Our lads and lasses – they’ll be there.
“Ir’s a great day for the whole family, but also for the town, the fans, the players, the management. It’s absolutely wonderful.”
Frank had words of praise for opponents Bitton, saying: “No side gets to the semi-finals of the FA Vase if they’re not a good side. They played some good football, they certainly worked our goalkeeper as well.
“It was a tough game, a really, really tough game, and they should be very very proud of what they’ve achieved.”
- Ticket arrangements for the final will be announced as soon as the club receives them from the FA.