Wow, that was a tough one to watch - I hate the play off games
Great to see another big crowd at KP to watch us just squeeze through to the Conference North.
Yesterday it was all about the result so it would be pointless spending much time looking at the performance but for me it mirrored Tuesday nights game v Worksop where we sat back for far too long - the difference being once Ashton scored following a howler at the back we didn't get a equaliser straight away and that made it very tense and very difficult , first half was terrible from our point of view and we 'got it wrong'
Second half and it was a different team as Challys words must have been ringing in the ears as pretty much for 45 mins we went for it yet for a long time Ashton got a great save, a good block or we took the wrong option and I was wondering if we was about to blow it (I have to say at this point I actually wanted FCUM away as I fancied us against them as opposed to a Ashton team who always do well against us and was on form).
When you see Michael Barnes at right back its safe to say we have sacrificed the defensive line and it was all out attack, following the timely substitutions, the goal came and I thought we'd get another to win the tie yet Ashton doggedly hung on.
In extra time save for a Cookie (?) shot that somehow stayed out it seemed equal and then it was penalties - I hate them.
When Adams penalty sailed over I feared the worst but Richies well took effort (and boy is that a text book way to take a pen went in and that seemed to give us the momentum as Ben pulled off a save before he sealed it fittingly with a well took effort himself.
It was pure theatre and on the pitch at the end congratulating the players it started to sink in we are actually going up to the conference North when reading the t'shirts the lads had on (managed to get stung for a fiver for getting my lad one straight away - thought it was a bargain until one of the lads we'd brought with us who had never been before got given one for nothing ), the celebrations was first class and its important to note the bond at AFCF that runs straight through from Owners - Players - Coaching team - volunteers - fans , makes some of the bile written about our great club by those who clearly have never been to KP or encountered our club look like either bitter ramblings or utter idiotic.
Today however was about our club and that all important step up but it would be ignorant not to mention Ashton - if I wasn't a Coasters fan I'd have wanted them to go up as they have done it the hard way and do play good football, they was a class act in defeat and I wish them all the success next season.
l was still stood on the pitch long after most had gone with similar souls also slightly stunned by what had taken place.
This is a huge step for our club and the fantastic gate shows what can be achieved but I'm certain we won't sit on our hands.
We are going through the leagues far quicker than anyone could have envisaged which doesn't give you much time to build a fan base but lets not listen to the doubters - our gates are slowly rising but more importantly our average fan age is coming down as the roots that are needed to ensure long term success are put in place - we are creating fans for life right now.
Far too many people to thank for a brilliant season, I thanked all the players except Blinks who escaped my over the moon congratulations
So thanks to all the coasters family as this has been another brilliant season (December is missing from my 2013 calendar ) with two cups and a promotion.
We have played football the most entertaining way possible and on & off the field been professional.
And that it, off to the Conference North.
See you all on Tuesday at KP as our future Richie Allens, Adam Sumners and Joe Booths pick up another bit of silverwear
Lowlight of the Day : The defence mix up that lead to 0-1
Highlight of the Day : Bens penalty that put us up, 2 goals in 2 sets of play offs for Ben - surely a record.