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Chairman Gary Clarke welcomes FA Vase adventure after Newark FC's stunning run in FA Cup

Newark FC bowed out of the FA Cup following a 4-1 loss to Mickleover, but chairman Gary Clarke remained upbeat as he teased another dream cup run.

Newark’s run in the national competition started on September 1 in the extra preliminary round when they dispatched Deeping Rangers 4-0.

Mickleover vs Newark, FA Cup. (42573628)
Mickleover vs Newark, FA Cup. (42573628)

Another 4-0 success followed in the preliminary round at Maltby Main, which set up what could prove to be one of the biggest days in the club’s history — a 5-0 win over step three side AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

On Saturday, another club that plays its football two divisions higher stood in Newark’s way, and the Highwaymen fell short.

Chairman Clarke said: “Normally, you get knocked out of the cup and you can be a bit down.

“You tend to say ‘alright, lets concentrate on the league’ ­— but we still have the FA Vase.

“To still be in a national FA competition is huge for everyone at the club.

“Let’s bring on the Vase.”

Speaking after the full-time whistle, Clarke said the four-game adventure in the FA Cup helped re-ignite a desire to watch local football.

“The fans were awesome — we may have edged it (having more fans in the ground than Mickleover).

“On a day like this when the rain is coming down, and they are singing like that — wow.

“They are not spectators, they are fans — proper fans.

“The atmosphere from the stands was as good as anything I have seen all season.”

Mickleover vs Newark, FA Cup. (42573491)
Mickleover vs Newark, FA Cup. (42573491)

More than 200 travelling Newark fans made the 90-plus mile round trip to Mickleover.

Clarke also applauded the efforts of joint-managers Craig Roche and Stephen Kirkham, as well as their squad of players.

“Hats off to every single one of the boys who have represented Newark in the FA Cup because this isn’t the extra preliminary round, the preliminary round or even the first qualifying round, this is when step two teams join the competition.

“We are talking about teams from the National League (North and South).

“I didn’t even dream of getting this far.

“Obviously, you can see how we have done it because we have so much quality in our squad, but coming up against Rushden and Diamond and Mickeover, who knocked Leek Town out, shows you how serious the level of football is.

“The boys will be gutted, but they gave everything they had and I couldn’t be more proud.”

This evening, Newark will look to returning to winning ways at Lowfields as they welcome Gresley Rovers (7.45pm KO).

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