‘We did not play the occasion, we played the game’ were the thoughts of Bromsgrove Sporting striker Jason Cowley following their history-making 2-1 victory over Bristol Manor Farm in the last 16 of the FA Vase yesterday (Saturday).
In front of a club record crowd of 1,487 at the Victoria Ground, two goals from Cowley inspired the Rouslers to a remarkable victory over the Toolstation Western League leaders who netted late on through Troy Simpson.
Simpson also had a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside with seven minutes remaining but Paul Smith’s men held their nerve to keep their Wembley dream alive and kicking.
Despite the spirited performance, Cowley, who has now scored in five consecutive Vase games, believed focusing on the game itself and not getting distracted by the huge crowd played an important part in the memorable victory.
“It was an unbelievable team performance,” he said. “We did not play the occasion, we played the game.
“You cannot play the occasion because a big crowd can get to you.
“There is always something negative which could be said from the crowd so you just got to keep believing and anything can happen.
“Everyone worked hard and grafted for each other.
“When they [Manor Farm] scored I could not look but I thought ‘come on, we can hold this out’ and we did what we needed to do and we carry on into the next round.”
Sporting will have to wait until Monday to find out who they will meet in the quarter-finals of the FA Vase but tough tests lie ahead with big names such as South Shields, Cleethorpes Town, Sporting Khalsa and Coleshill Town still in the hat.
But Cowley believes Sporting are more than capable of extended their magical Vase run which all started with a 13-0 victory over East Midlands Counties outfit Ellistown & Ibstock United in the very first qualifying round.
“The belief in this squad is unreal and we have to keep going and going,” he said.
“We have to train hard and work for each other and we will get to where we want to be this year.
“We are happy, jumping for joy and cannot wait for the draw. Bring it on, home or away, we are more than capable of beating anyone.”
Match highlights courtesy of Danny Carter.