Ashton Athletic captain Paul Watson feels like his team are on top of the world after they upset the odds to beat Chorley in the semi-final of the Lancashire Partners Foundation Challenge Cup.
The North West Counties Premier Division side sit three division below the Magpies but they saw off Matt Jansen’s men on penalties after drawing 1-1 in normal time.
Following the game, Watson said: “It was just amazing before we went out we said it’s 11 men vs. 11 men at the end of the day.
“They are a team three division higher than us and they are a well-known club. But our game plan was to stay as tight as we could and then try to win the game.
“But after 90 minutes of hard graft and them pressing us non-stop.
“It was such a good feeling when Martin Pearson saved that penalty and he deserved it as well, to save that penalty because he had been amazing all game.”
Watson certainly led by example to open the scoring just before the hour mark to give his side the lead.
He explained his goal: “The ball left my foot, I turned around and sprinted to Joel Brownhill, who was on the left-hand side.
“I’m not used to scoring goal but that one was massive it was such a good feeling to score.”
The result will see Ashton Athletic make the 10-mile journey to the Macron stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers FC for the final.
Watson is looking forward to playing at such a great venue.
He said: “It’s a dream and it’s what you want to do when you’re a kid is to play on pitches like them and in those stadiums.
“I know for a fact that it will be the biggest game I’ve played in and I know it will be for a lot of the other lads it will be the same.
“Last night we said before we went out that whatever happens, happens we have got this far, the semi-final was the biggest game I had played in before previously and to go and beat them and get to the Marcon stadium, to play on that pitch, it will be amazing and everyone is talking about it.”
The final will see the Ashes take on either Radcliffe Borough or Clitheroe who meet in the other semi-final next week.
For Watson it doesn’t matter who they get, he is hoping that they can spring another surprise and lift the trophy.
He said: “We are hopeful, we will go out and try to win the game as we always do. It’s 11 men v 11 men.
“The management team will go out and set up a game plan like we did against Chorley and hope for the best.
“That is all that we can do, take it game by game and try to do the best we can.”