Tate plans to make the most of second chance

Wes Tate

Wes Tate

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Eastbourne United’s influential striker Wes Tate is determined to go one better this time around in the FA Vase semi-final.

Tate, who scored both goals in United’s 2-1 quarter-final victory against Ampthill, was part of the Whitehawk side that got so close to Wembley four years go.

Whitehawk were firm favourites to progress to the Wembley final but were turned over in the first leg 2-0 by Wroxham and lost the away tie 2-1. “I never thought I would get another chance so to reach the same stage again with United, it’s incredible really.” Tate said. “To miss out last time was tough. You get so close to achieving something but we didn’t quite make it.

“Wroxham were not the best team but they had a game plan and they stuck to it. That’s what you have to do in the Vase.

“At this level it’s not about the ability because we are all about the same level. It’s about who wants it the most and who performs best on the day.”

On the prospect of a Wembley appearance, Tate added, “It would be special and something as a player you would always remember. We are close but we are not there yet.

“It’s all about what happens on the day and who handles the conditions and who handles the nerves.

“If everyone does what they are good at and we don’t think about the crowd, we should be okay. I will be giving it everything to make sure we get the best possible result in Sholing and I know all the lads will too.

“We are here on merit. No-one can take that way from us but we all want to go one step further now.”

Tate, 31, has proved to be one of Simon Rowlands best signings this season.

He has performed consistently well in league and cup and is a big reason why United are chasing trophies on three fronts.

He has experienced higher level football with Whitehawk and Peacehaven but is enjoying being part of a progressive team like United.

“It has been a great season for us so far. We seem to produce our best football in the games when it matters like the Vase or when we played Crawley (Sussex Senior).

“We have got a mix of players. Some have played at a higher level and have that bit of experience which I think has helped us.

“To be honest I cannot stop thinking about it. Since we beat Ampthill I have not been able to think of anything else.

“The draw has been quite kind to us. To have the second leg at home is bonus but we have to make sure we do a good job in Sholing first.”