IAN Rowe says words can’t do justice to his pride in Gornal Athletic’s players following their FA Vase heroics.

The Peacocks advanced into the last eight of the competition with a superb 1-0 fifth round win at Bodmin Town on Saturday.

In an often bruising encounter, Rowe’s men stood firm to protect the lead given to them by Lee Wherton’s 12th minute goal.

Full-back Mike Perks played the final half-hour with a dislocated shoulder and the manager described his players as “soldiers.”

He said: “I have never seen anything like it in my life, every single player gave his all.

“I would have carried them off the pitch if I could.

“The game wasn’t much of a spectacle but we got the lead and could have been further ahead at the break.

“In the second-half we shut up shop and really dug in the trenches.

“To a man our players stood tall and I really don’t have enough words to express how proud I am of them.”

After two-and-a-half successful years at the helm, in which he has overseen the club’s promotion from the West Midlands Premier, Rowe feels Saturday’s win in Cornwall was the best achievement yet.

He added: “It’s massively on top.

“To win games in any cup competitions is great but for a club of our stature to get where we have is an incredible achievement.

“Little old Gornal getting the last eight of the FA Vase, you can hardly believe it.”

Gornal’s joy was tempered somewhat by Monday’s quarter-final draw, which handed them an away tie at Northern League outfit Spennymoor Town to be played on March 2.

Rowe feels the draw was the toughest they could have got but says his side have nothing to lose. He said: “The draw could have been a little bit kinder but I know our lads will not lie down against anybody.

“We have a couple of weeks to get ready and hopefully we can do the right thing in terms of preparation.

“We will go there as massive underdogs but we will look forward to it.”

Perks is expected to spend a couple of weeks on the sidelines while Curtis Martin, who was withdrawn during the first-half against Bodmin, is also likely to miss this Saturday’s game with against Alliance high-fliers Stourport Swifts at Garden Walk.