Paget Rangers will face Wolverhampton Casuals this weekend as they hope to begin a journey that could see them play at Wembley Stadium.
The Bears will face The Cassies, who ply their trade in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division, at the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground in the First Qualifying Round of The FA Vase.
Last season Paget had an impressive run and reached the Second Round. They were fortunate enough to be given a bye in the First Qualifying Round last season and in the Second Qualifying Round faced MFL Premier Division side Highgate United at home, although the fixture would have to be played at the ground of Rushall Olympic.
Despite being underdogs in the game the Bears took the lead just over 10 minutes before half time, through Billy Fagg giving the hosts the lead going into the break. However Marco Adaggio equalised in the 68th minute. The game looked likely to end in a draw as both teams struggled to find the net, but with the game coming to a close Daniel Carter restored the Bears’ lead and secured a place in the First Round Proper.
Again Paget were drawn against higher opposition, but this time they would have to travel to Leicester to face St. Andrews of the United Counties League Premier Division. A goal in the third minute from Eliot Putman and some strong play from the hosts had Paget’s travelling contingent fearing a thrashing. But Daniel Carter gave the Bears a fighting chance with a quick equaliser. It was a fair fight from both teams and Paget were beginning to become a problem for St. Andrews and could easily win the game.
With less than 20 minutes left Carter lobbed the St. Andrews goalkeeper to put Paget in front. The Wee Gers would hold on to lead, sending both the players and Paget’s followers into a euphoria that would last the coach journey back to Sutton Coldfield.
In the Second Round, Paget would again be drawn at home in the 2016/17 Buildbase FA Vase to MFL Division One side. Although this would be the lowest ranked side the Bears would face in the competition it would be the team that ended their dreams of going Wembley, for at least a year.
After 25 minutes Ryan Seal had given the visitors a strong 2-0 lead which was increased to 3-0 with only three minutes of the first half to go as Paul Sullivan surely rounded off the game. Darren Michael inspired hope nine minutes into the second half as he reduced the lead back to two but Ryan Seal would complete his hat trick with less than ten minutes to go.
Despite the Buildbase FA Vase upset the Bears would go onto finish as champions of MFL Division Two and would lift the Les James Challenge Cup at Banks’s Stadium.
Click here to see Carter's second goal against St. Andrews.
Updated 20:20 - 7 Sep 2017 by Joshua Smith