Stourbridge manager Gary Hackett is hailing his FA Cup heroes for beating Northampton Town to record the greatest night in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club’s long and proud history.
And Glassboys defender Jack Duggan reckons they haven’t finished rewriting their history books yet after scoring their late winner to knock out the Cobblers in Tuesday night’s 1-0 second round win and set up a trip to League Two Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday 7 January.
Former Shrewsbury, Aberdeen, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion, Peterborough and Chester winger Hackett told the BBC his side’s performance against their League One opponents in front of more than 2,500 fans at the War Memorial Ground had been “outstanding”.
Hackett, who’s now guided his home-town club to the first round on five occasions, the second round four times and the third round for the first time ever since taking charge in 2004, said: “This has got to be the biggest [achievement] beating a League One side at home. This is what the FA Cup is about.
“I thought we were outstanding. We certainly didn’t get lucky, we were the better team. It’s one of those special nights and it’s a great occasion for everybody connected with the football club.
“Everybody connected with this football club are heroes. I spoke to a gentleman who comes on the coach every week and never misses a game home or away – I told him ‘these nights are for you’.”
After writing his name into FA Cup folklore, Duggan was back at Newman University in Birmingham on Wednesday morning trying to concentrate on his studies for a teaching degree after raising a glass to their triumph with his teammates and the club’s fans the night before.
Backing the Glassboys to shock Wycombe after Christmas, he said: “Not too many people in life have played in the third round of the FA Cup, or even scored in the FA Cup. You’ve got to enjoy it.
“We don’t fear anyone. Northampton might have had an off day but that was down to us. Every first or second ball we won. There’s not much difference between League and Non-League football, as hard work always outweighs talent. We just wanted it more.”
He added: “I’m only in my first season here but this is why I came. To be part of nights like this.”
The Glassboys also thanked their fans on Wednesday morning for their support before urging them to turn out in force for their pre-Christmas meeting on Saturday with another of the EVO-STIK NPL’s cup kings this season, Spennymoor Town.
A spokesman said: “The Glassboys now take their place on the most famous stage of the domestic football season, and will travel to Wycombe Wanderers full of confidence that they can go even further. We congratulate Gary Hackett, his backroom staff and all of the squad on a magnificent achievement.
“Our thanks also go to every one of the supporters who turned out again tonight to support the team so brilliantly. Your backing is hugely appreciated and we look forward to seeing you all again on Saturday when we welcome Spennymoor Town!”