National exposure for Irchester ahead of their big Vase clash

Irchester United boss Steve Sargent is interviewed by Sky Sports reporter Johnny Phillips. Picture by Alison Bagley
Irchester United boss Steve Sargent is interviewed by Sky Sports reporter Johnny Phillips. Picture by Alison Bagley

Irchester United have been in the national spotlight this week.

The Romans got a special mention from presenter Jeff Stelling on his Gillette Soccer Saturday programme last weekend when he announced on air that they had lost 15-1 at home to Blackstones in Division One of the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League.

The only thing is, they didn’t lose 15-1. They drew 1-1.

The error came after Romans boss Steve Sargent had posted the result to the FA ‘s Full-Time website but it started a series of events that culminated in a Sky Sports camera crew coming to Alfred Street ahead of their 1-0 win over Stewarts & Lloyds on Tuesday night.

“I went to put the score on the FA Full-Time website as I have done for the past couple of years,” Sargent explained

“I put our score and then added ‘Ty Clark 15’ for our goalscorer and then put Blackstones score but the website apparently recognises the first two numbers that you put on there.

“I saw that it said we had lost 15-1 but just assumed it was a mistake that would be corrected.

“But I got home and saw on Facebook that someone had put up footage of Soccer Saturday and that we had been mentioned for losing 15-1.

“And that was it. My phone went crazy with texts and I know the same happened to the Blackstones manager Phil Gadsby with everyone congratulating him on a big win!

“So one of my assistants Ben Thomas got in touch with Sky and asked what could be done by way of a correction and they said they would send a camera crew to the game on Tuesday.

“And they were true to their word. They turned up before the game and did a few interviews and took some footage of the warm-ups and it looks like it will be shown on the programme this Saturday.

“It’s all been very strange and we ended up just squeezing a victory on Tuesday.

“I think there was a loss of focus from the boys, which was probably understandable. I know I found it strange with the cameras there.

“But it’s great. We have seized on a chance to get a bit of national exposure and we are enjoying it.”

Irchester are now gearing up for an FA Vase second qualifying round clash at Premier Division side Rothwell Corinthians on Saturday and Sargent added: “Corinthians are a model for current Division One clubs.

“They have a nice bunch of lads, good managers and their set-up is very good.

“I have a lot of respect for them but we go there with nothing to lose. I don’t think the gulf is that big so we will go there and see what happens.”

Corinthians go into the clash on the back of a 4-1 home defeat to Brackley Town in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

But joint-boss Shaun Sparrow feels his team have a good chance of progressing this weekend, if they can keep up what has been, in general, a very positive start to the new season.

“Form goes out of the window and what division teams are in doesn’t count for anything,” Sparrow said.

“We have to make sure we carry on the sort of form we have shown recently and if we do that, we will give ourselves every chance.

“It’s a great competition and the boys must remember to enjoy it. If they do that and apply themselves in the right way then we will have a good opportunity to progress.”