GORNAL Athletic manager Ian Rowe admitted to being ‘lost for words’ after watching his side come from two goals down to beat Wisbech Town 4-2 and book their place in the last 16 of the FA Vase.
The Peacocks recovered from a dreadful first-half showing to triumph in extra time.
The Garden Walk outfit now face a lengthy trip to Cornish club Bodmin Town on Saturday with a place in the quarter finals at stake.
Rowe said: “At half time, I feared the worst.
“Two individual errors looked as though they would cost us the tie, but we got stronger as the game went on.
“By the time the game went into extra time, there was only ever going to be one winner.
“It was fantastic, I’m over the moon!
“I cannot put into words just how much I want to praise the lads and I still can’t believe what we’ve achieved.”
Rowe had reason to be concerned after Gornal went 2-0 down in the opening seven minutes as Wisbech threatened to run riot.
Gornal settled after that setback and began to get on top in the second-half.
Lee Wherton clawed a goal back from the penalty spot after Chris Rabone had been fouled.
Rabone then levelled matters with 20 minutes remaining after being set-up by Marvin Nisbett and force the game into extra-time with Gornal in command.
Kristian Green made a fire right wing run to set up Calum Martin to fire Gornal in front in the 100th minute.
Then with two minutes remaining, Gornal made sure of a trip to Cornwall when Matt Weyman’s shot looped off the luckless Wisbech goalkeeper for Nisbett to head home.
Rowe added: “Wisbech are former semi-finalists and a big budget side, so this was a great result for us.”
Rowe was unable to use cup-tied players Rion Francis-Mills, Scott Moore, David Meese and Bakir Halil, but the quartet were all expected to feature last night in the Midland Alliance home match with Loughborough University.
Rowe is planning to send Richard Young and Ricky Nicholls out on loan with West Midlands League side Willenhall Town, but the pair are still expected to be in the squad at Bodmin.
The Peacocks boss also has recent signing from Stratford Town Robert Blair up his sleeve.
The manager said: “Rob is eligible to play in the FA Vase, but we weren’t sure whether his registration had gone through in time, so we didn’t dare risk it against Wisbech.”
Gornal will travel down to Cornwall on Friday, stopping en-route at Taunton.
Rowe insisted: “It’s an extremely long journey and a long weekend ahead. God-willing, it will be worth it!”