Mouth of the Tyne: Could this be the last major cup shock for St Albans City?

Mitchell Weiss is mobbed by team-mates after scoring the first goal for St Albans City on a historic night in the FA Cup

Mitchell Weiss is mobbed by team-mates after scoring the first goal for St Albans City on a historic night in the FA Cup against Forest Green Rovers. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

I love getting people with the headline. Furious rage has compelled an angry horde to click on this article and deride the deluded Geordie.

But before you do, let me explain. Trust me, you'll see what I mean in a minute or so.

Victory over Forest Green Rovers in the FA Cup was simply incredible. The seething mass of humanity that flooded on to the Clarence Park pitch at full-time was proof that the grand old competition still carries so much weight and that non-league clubs like St Albans City winning in this manner are still fantastic stories.

So why then would I say this could be the last time City enjoyed such a momentous win?

It's got nothing to do with the regularity of these occasions even though it had been 97 years since the Saints last beat Football League opposition.

It has everything to do though with just how historic the evening was, and not just on the pitch.

With the BBC cameras in town for Match of the Day Live, the game reached a national audience and maybe even a global one. It thrust the club down the throats and into the consciousness of millions of new people.

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Before I moved down here at the start of 2015 nobody in my circle of friends knew who St Albans City were. I don't mean that to be nasty, it's just fact. We hadn't heard of the club. Don't worry though, we hadn't heard of Hemel or Boreham Wood either.

That changed slightly with my job and it became a massive alteration to the psyche in the north east and beyond last night.

Putting it simply - St Albans City are now on the football map and it could also put them on the verge of something special.

This is a progressive club with dreams much higher than the National League South. Forest Green Rovers are almost a blueprint for the ambitions of Saints.

And regardless of what you think of the methods being adopted, the fact is the last two years have seen the club make massive strides on and off the pitch. They have altered the perception of who they are and how they operate.

The league form shows they are rightly regarded as one of the favourites for promotion and if they can ride this wave of support and confidence and keep doing what they are doing, then you would have to think they'll get the elevation they want.

And if they do, then things will change.

They would start the FA Cup in the fourth qualifying round for one, just one win from the first round proper instead of the three they currently are.

It would mean getting to the first round and setting up historic nights like Sunday would be more commonplace and while they would still carry kudos, it wouldn't quite be on the scale of the FGR success.

They would also be just one good season away from promotion to the Football League itself and then cup shocks become rarer again. You have to beat a Championship club or even a Premier League giant to get close and in fact, you actually become the scalp people want to take.

But even with all the delirium that comes with a bewitching moment like Sunday, I still had a sense leaving the ground that I'd witnessed something that was more than just a historic win over a League Two side.

It felt like witnessing a turning point in the history of the club. 

The money, the support, the perception, the ambition. They all come together after a night like that. Look at Marine last year.

What happens next is obviously crucial but get it right, and in years to come you will hark back to that 'I was there' moment.

A moment when St Albans City announced themselves, changed their stars and made giant-killing a thing of their past.

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