Read here the latest thoughts from Gaz Dean after the win at Stockport:
The last week has been a roller coaster again, firstly starting away at Stockport in the FA Trophy, we were organized and absorbed some sustained periods of pressure and in the end felt disappointed to have not left with a victory. Then the winter weather set in so we were unable to train all week or even get to work in my case, the boys came in on the Sunday and trained before the replay, which is a testament to the group. It proved worthwhile, I think Stockport are the only team who have come to St James Park and dominated possession like they did, but we are a tough team to break down on our day and a moment of quality from Shane is probably what we needed to win the match. It was really pleasing to manage the game from 2-1 and to achieve a first in most of the lads’ careers to reach the semi-finals. It now offers a great opportunity to go one step further and play at Wembley, but I'm sure Wealdstone will have exactly the same thoughts.
This weekend we faced Stockport for a third time in the last two weeks. It's a difficult task because naturally any football player will not want to lose for a second time. So the challenge was can the lads take themselves mentally and physically to the same place they did on Tuesday night? That's what successful teams do. Again Stockport started well and they pushed for an early break-through. The defence stood strong. I thought Gudge was exceptional and between us both we dominated their striker and limited him to almost no efforts on goal. Ellis had a tough match against a good player on Tuesday but he defended brilliantly at the weekend, so I was really pleased for him, and Glenn on the other side came out on top of all his individual battles.
It was really pleasing to see Shep make his first start and also the subs (Theo & Lowey) had a big impact coming on. Lowey stretched the game and gave us another dimension late on, and Theo is a leader who talked the tired players through the closing stages which we certainly needed. We have a huge game on Tuesday night against Gainsborough, one we need to win to keep pace with the top two. Thanks again for your support, and hopefully next time you hear from me I will have even more positive news to speak of.