By Jon Couch
ANTHONY MILLERICK says his Hartley Wintney players should remember last night’s FA Cup replay success for the rest of their lives after stunning local rivals Basingstoke Town.
The ‘noisy neighbours’ from 10 miles down the A30 earned a money-spinning second crack at the full-time Dragons by battling back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at The Camrose on Saturday.
And the village club completed the job in front of a crowd of almost 700 at Green Lane on Tuesday night with Sam Argent’s 58th-minute penalty sealing a famous win.
Victory earned the Evo-Stik Southern East newcomers a second qualifying round trip to Cinderford Town next Saturday and joint boss Millerick says the club, who reached the fourth qualifying round as as Step 5 club in 2014, are ready for another cup assault.
“It’s a fantastic day, a memorable day, one that will live long for those who have been associated with the club for a long time,” he said.
“I’ve told the players to remember that for the rest of their lives. They’ve come up against a Step 3 club, one that has always been, historically, bigger and better, and gone toe-to-toe with them over 180 minutes of football.
“It was always going to be a game of tight margins against a Basingstoke side, who were professional and well organised as they are. At times we had to have an absolute level of concentration and at times you had to ride your luck. We were brave and ultimately got the break which I thought we fully deserved.
“The game has attracted a lot of local interest and rightfully so. We’re proud of the team, proud of the club, so a successful day all round.”
With three wins from their opening four matches, the Row have enjoyed a solid start to their new Step 4 season and Millerick believes this result can help them push on.
“Confidence is high and we’ve had a decent start to the season,” he added. “From losing 3-0 at Marlow and get beaten up to taking a Step 3 team to a replay and sticking to your guns like we did and not shirk the task shows a great amount of character. If we can keep those fundamentals then I’m sure we’ll do well.”