'Proud and privileged' - Rob Elliot's heartfelt words to Gateshead support after Wembley glory

Gateshead boss Rob Elliot dedicated their FA Trophy victory to the fans, saying the club have “real heart and a unique story.”

18-year-old loanee Dajaune Brown scored the winning penalty, as the Heed avenged last years final loss with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Solihull Moors, after the game had finished 2-2 after 120 minutes.

Defender Regan Booty opened the scoring just before half-time, poking in from Brown’s cross. But two Mark Beck goals, in the 69th and 101st minutes turned the tie around for Solihull. That was until the 111th minute, with Brown blasting Tom Allan’s knockdown into the back of the net. The squad celebrated with the fans after the full-time whistle, and Elliot could not thank them enough for their support this season.

“It’s just a thank you," Elliot said after the penalty glory. "The togetherness the club has shown, we’re not the biggest club in the world, but we have real heart and a unique story.”

READ MORE: Gateshead FC earn Wembley revenge to lift FA Trophy after dramatic penalty shootout

Gateshead were denied a place in the National League play-offs by the EFL, after the council failed to guarantee them a 10-year lease at the Gateshead International Stadium. But Elliot said he could not be happier for the fans.

“We’re just extremely proud and privileged and we know most the fans, we see them all the time on the trips and they have to do all the miles. I just hope everyone enjoys it and sees it as a reward for all their hard work.”

The decision not to allow Gateshead to challenge for promotion also had an affect on the players. Elliot said: “I just want to see the lads enjoy and relish this, because it won’t hit home what an achievement they’ve had, considering all the setbacks.”

Gateshead suffered some setbacks of their own in the game too. They were denied what looked a stonewall penalty in normal time, with Solihull being awarded one at the other end in extra time. Asked if he thought it was ironic the game was decided by penalties, Elliot said: “Yeah I suppose so. I think the big thing with that is that it shows the lads mentality and reacting to setbacks which we talked about.

“Not allowing these setbacks to affect us and see it as a challenge, so really pleased to get the win.”

Finally, he spoke about Brown, on loan from Derby County. The Heed manager was resigned to the fact they are unlikely to have him again next season, but was full of praise for the young forward.

“I think we know that ship has sailed, in the nicest possible sense. But I think that’s what we are as a club, we get young, hungry players in to develop and give them the best education and platform we can.”