Dunston UTS who play in the Northern League, part of the seventh tier in the English football leagues enjoyed a fantastic run in the FA Cup.

They reached the fourth qualifying rounds beating teams in higher divisions along the way such as Pontefract, North Ferriby and a seven-goal thriller against Chester which ended 4-3 to Dunston.

Despite this manager Chris Swailes, known to players and colleagues as, “Swaz” said:

“I would have preferred a good FA Vase run rather than an FA Cup run if I’m honest.”

Swaz has won this competition as a player three times in the past for Bridlington Town, Dunston UTS and Morpeth Town AFC.

He is also still to this day the oldest scorer at Wembley having scored in Morpeth’s final against Hereford in 2016 at age 45. So perhaps feels a more emotional connection to this competition.

“The FA Cup is more financially rewarding than the FA Vase so you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth. We’ve done well against teams who were in the higher divisions than us. It was a great run while it lasted but at the same time one step too far.”

Dunston’s run in the FA Cup was ended in the fourth qualifying round courtesy of a 4-0 loss to Gateshead. Despite this Swaz focused on the positives.

“We got our record crowd as well. 2500 came to Dunston to watch us against Gateshead, one game too far if I’m honest. We didn’t perform on the day neither but the exposure we got was excellent”

“The club made a killing money wise, ground improvements are on the way. Starting to be done for next season”

“Anybody who gets further than what they’re meant to do will make money and hopefully save the club for another season like we did. Because it’s hard to get sponsorships.”