FA Trophy Final : The fan’s blog

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Saturday proved to be a day of disappointments all round - and not just for the result.

It began as a great joy, smiles and then in the final minutes, total heartbreak.

But not many teams can say they have been to the new Wembley Stadium - especially Chesterfield!

The first thing which made me proud was watching the crowds of people waiting to get on the coaches.

Old and young faces were smiling as they thought of what could be for our great club.

I left on one of the last coaches leaving Field Mill with the regulars who are there week after week no matter whom the Stags are playing.

Our journey down was full of laughs and thoughts of what could be at 4.45pm that afternoon.

We arrived at Wembley just after noon and I took the chance to get some refreshments and visited the Wembley store along with my carer Jonathan Storer. I got my programme and made my way to my seat to soak up the pre-match atmosphere.

I had been to the old Wembley which was beginning to show it age, but my first visit to the new national stadium took my breath away.

It was a wonderful sight in the spring time sunshine to see our players come out on to what looked like a massive green carpet. It was so different to the ground at Bath that I had visited the week before.

I sat quietly before kick- off thinking of how we would line-up and if we would be able to strike early to get it all settled but of course that never happened.

I am so proud of the players they gave their all from minute one and after they had finished they were out on their feet.

Adam Murray for me gave a captain’s performance - all bar him lifting the trophy itself.

He was amazing and I thought he might take off at one point. he made himself available at all time, played some wonderful passes through to Paul Connor and made sure that the Mansfield players knew who the boss was.

But my man of the match was Alan Marriott. He had a one hell of a game in between the sticks for the Stags.

Alan, who has been out of the side for nearly six months due to injury, made save after save to make sure we were in the game for as long as we were.

The Darlington winner was met by heartbreak from the thousands of fans that had travelled down the M1 to be part of what was one of the biggest days in Mansfield Town FC history.

There is an old saying that goes ‘Wembley is not a place for losers’ and that is just the feeling I got as I boarded the coach to come back north.

Mansfield Town’s defeat at Wembley marks the end of my time as Stags blogger for the Chad. I would like to thank everyone at the Mansfield Chad who gave me a chance to write about the club I love.

It is my health that has brought my dream to an end as I must cut down the amount of matches that I go to.

But I will have my season ticket renewed by the time the new season starts and will be proud once more to wear my club colours.

So I hope that I will see you down the Mill next year when we hopefully will be challenging for our football league status back once again.