Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Pain eased by big achievement for Brighouse
Brighouse Town chairman Ray McLaughlin admitted his side’s FA Vase fourth round defeat had hurt but he was so proud of what they had achieved.
It was a logistical nightmare and an expensive excursion for Brighouse as they had been drawn away at Newport on the Isle of Wight.
The cost rose in line with the frustrations of the players and supporters – and McLaughlin’s blood pressure – when the original date was postponed due to the worst weekend of the winter.
The following Saturday’s trip was also in doubt but mercifully went ahead.
“We thought the game might have been called off again because of a waterlogged pitch but, thankfully, everything went according to plan – apart from the result,” said McLaughlin following his club’s 2-1 reverse in the last-32 tie.
“I thought we played all the football in the game but we just couldn’t get the second goal after taking the lead.
“I spoke to their chairman and assistant manager after the game and they both told me they didn’t know how their team had won.
“That reassured me that I wasn’t being biased.”
“It was difficult to take. All the lads were very down when they came into the clubhouse after the game but by the time the coach was ready to take us back to the ferry everyone was in good spirits.”
McLaughlin was full of praise for the host club and said the experience would live long in the memory.
“Newport were very hospitable and fantastic in the way they treated us,” he said.
“They have a great committee and are a first-class club. We all really hope they go all the way to Wembley now after going down there.
“It was very difficult to organise the trip once, never mind twice, but it was a great experience.
“Some of the lads in the squad were from our under-19s and it will be a lasting memory and motivating factor for those young players.
“I had been so busy I was on auto-pilot for weeks before the game but it hit me on the way back to the hotel at Southampton for a second night.
“I thought – here we all are, on a ferry from the Isle of Wight, having played in the last 32 of the FA Vase and a couple of years ago we weren’t even on the non-league ladder – that was a sobering thought. I was so proud of our club.”