Non League Daily

Worthians happy to be written off ahead of Vase semi final

A step into the unknown, the chance to break new ground, a shot at club history. That is what awaits Highworth Town as they undertake the final preparations for their first ever FA Vase semi final.

 

EBAC Northern League side North Shields are the opposition for the Worthians, with the prize of a Wembley final potentially one hundred and eighty minutes away. For the Robins, Wembley is familiar ground, having won the FA Amateur Cup in 1969, albeit at the old Wembley.

 

For Town boss John Fisher and his players, a place in the club's proud 120 year history has already been secured and it has been acheived in adversity. His side, by his own admission, had been written off before seeing off the likes of Tunbridge Wells and Tadcaster Albion, victory over the latter sealed a two legged semi final tie against North Shields.

 

According to Fisher that shows that the Robins shouldn't take his side lightly, although he admitted that he wouldn't mind if they chose to do so.

 

"We haven't been past the fourth round so for us to go this far is amazing. Every round has been different and we could have went out on a couple of occasions but I know people think we can't do it. I am happy for people to write us off, I don't mind that, it puts the pressure on the opposition. People have taken us lightly so far and look where it has got us so you would hope that North Shields do the same thing from our point of view"

 

The Worthians currently sit in eighth position in the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division, although do have a number of games in hand on the sides above them as a result of their Vase run. Fisher felt that the competition had been "massive" for the club and revealed his desire to go all of the way to the Final, now that they have made it this far.

 

"It's been massive. We were just hoping to get past a couple of rounds and never thought we would get this far. We don't want it to end now and it's been that way for a while. With every round it was a case of 'We have done well to get this far' but now we want to go all of the way but we know it will be tough to do that"

 

A run that started with a home win over Combinded Counties League outfit Hartney Wintney has taken Fisher and his side to the last four of the competition. However the Worthians boss points to the win over Southern Counties East League outfit Tunbridge Wells as the point in their run where the club truly started to believe something special was in the offing.

 

"I think the belief grew when we played Tunbridge Wells I think many people thought that would be it for us. I said to the players to make sure we start well, quieten the crowd and go from there. We did that and we ended up deservedly winning on penalties. That made us realise this is possible, the way I look at it now is it's a two leg semi final so why can't we do it. We have beaten two top teams in Tunbridge and Tadcaster so why can't we beat North Shields?"

 

The first leg of the semi final takes place in Wiltshire on Saturday afternoon and Fisher admitted he wasn't ready for the run to end quite yet, although would like to see it end with silverware in his hands if it has to.

 

"The town are starting to get into a bit of a fever about what is happening and that's great. There is a buzz about the place now but people were saying to us that we wouldn't reach the semi finals. Now we are there it has been fantastic to see the response. The phone calls and messages we are getting are great but we don't want it to end, or if it has to end then make sure it is with the trophy in our hands"

 

If that is to happen, then for Fisher, Highworth Town and their new found supporters, that fever may well be more long-lasting that the Worthians boss suspects.

Photo: Jake Whiteley

 

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