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  • Writer's pictureWealdstone FC

A love affair with the FA Trophy



The FA Trophy, established as a competition for the most senior non-League football clubs, has traditionally been a source of prestige and pride for clubs operating below the upper echelons of English football. However, with the significant changes to the landscape of non-League football in recent years, in particular the increase in the number of former Football League clubs now competing in the National League, what was once seen as the pinnacle of non-League football competition is now viewed by some clubs as a secondary contest.


Wealdstone FC's involvement in the FA Trophy has been significant over the last 40 years. Far from being seen as a sideshow, the competition continues to hold considerable importance for the club, serving as both a historical benchmark and an ambition. This connection is underpinned by memorable victories and notable performances that have become a proud part of the club's legacy.


One of the most celebrated moments in the club's history came in 1985, when the Stones lifted the FA Trophy at Wembley Stadium with a 2-1 victory over Boston United, to complete the first ever Non-League Double. The cup sat alongside the Gola League (now National League) title in the trophy cabinet at Lower Mead and ranks as one of the most significant achievements in the non-league game. Many Stones fans will argue that this success created the resilience and determination in the fanbase that saw the club survive the loss of our beloved Lower Mead Stadium, falling into Administration, living a nomadic existence with a series of ground shares for nearly 20 years, dropping 5 divisions to then bounce back to the top of the non-league game.


Our journey through the FA Trophy has been marked by several standout games that reflect the love and affection for the competition by our supporters. In 1987, a 1st round tie against Banbury United saw the return of Stones legend Alan Cordice, culminating in a hard-fought 2-2 draw played out in a celebratory atmosphere. Two years later, in a similar stage of the competition, a last-minute winner from Everald La Ronde against Bromley sparked jubilation among the travelling supporters, securing a 2-1 victory.


As the club started its journey back through the non-league pyramid, the memorable moments returned against Thurrock on a Friday night under the lights at The White Lion Ground in Edgware, in the 2004 3rd round. The Stones secured notable 3-2 home victory over higher division opposition, with goals from Ben Alexander (2) and Marvin Morgan.


The 2012 campaign was particularly memorable for the club, featuring a series of remarkable matches that saw us reach the semi-finals. A 2-1 victory over full time National League side Barrow at The Vale, with goals from Richard Jolly and Watford loanee Britt Assombalonga, was a highlight of the campaign, as was the gritty 1-0 win in a 3rd round replay against Dartford, achieved with just nine men. The quarter-final victory over Cambridge United away, thanks to Richard Jolly's brace, marked a major achievement as the club reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1985.

Who in attendance that day will ever forget "Bubb will tear you apart" ringing out from the huge travelling army of Stones fans as we roared to a 5-2 victory at Billericay Town in the 2018 Quarter Final? In what was a masterstroke by then manager Bobby Wilkinson and Chairman Peter Marsden, striker Bradley Bubb was signed on the eve of the match, and exploded into life as a Stones player with a hat-trick, leading the club to another semi-final appearance.


As we prepare to face Solihull Moors in the Quarter Final at The Vale this weekend, these achievements and memories underpin the club's connection to the FA Trophy. They remain a source of pride and motivation, a catalyst for our ambition to return to Wembley Stadium for the first time in nearly 40 years and win the cup again. With just 2 wins required, our game this Saturday is of huge importance as we face talented and in form opponents. Don't miss out, play your part by securing your tickets online in advance by clicking HERE.

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