A FOOTBALL coach at Ellesmere College enjoyed a taste of FA Cup magic at the weekend after scoring in a penalty shootout to help his side to pull off a surprise victory.

David Raven, former Liverpool and Wrexham player, found the net from 12 yards to help eighth-tier Marine AFC overcome League Two opponents, Colchester.

The Wirral-based part-time club were drawing 1-1 after extra time, before a faultless penalty shootout for Marine saw the underdogs through to the second round of the FA Cup.

Raven who is head of football coaching at Ellesmere College, described the moment as one of the best in his football career.

“It was massive for us,” he said. “It’s the first time in 25 years we’ve been at that stage.

“Everyone at the club knew how big it was and the chairman gave us a speech before the game letting us know how proud he was of us all which was nice.

“In terms of achievements for me, it’s up there massively, just in terms of the perspective of it.

“We’re part-time players and obviously the difference in leagues, when you look at the bigger picture, it’s a huge achievement, and it really felt like one at the end of the match.

“I’m really proud of the boys.”

The 35-year-old praised Marine boss Neil Young who prepared the side tactically ahead of the cup tie.

He said: “In terms of preparation, we didn’t do much different except for the game plan. For that, the manager deserves a load of credit for the detail he went into and coaching it as well on the training ground.

“The lads were well-drilled because of the effort put in on the training ground from the manager and coaches.

“We were able to carry out the game plan because of that, and I think that’s what won us the game – they couldn’t cope with what was up against them.

“They changed shape three times in the first half, and that’s a credit to us and the manager because they didn’t really know how to deal with what we were doing.”

Despite being a defender, Raven stepped up when it mattered most and fired into the net during the penalty shootout – something he says did not unnerve him too much.

“I felt quite calm,” he explained. “By a country mile I’m the eldest in the team and have the most experience, so it’s was a little easier for me to put myself forward and take one.

“I knew I was going to strike it down the middle and hit it hard and true and as straight as I could.

“I did a lot of preparation in my head before taking the penalty and kept imagining it going in, so that helped.”

The unexpected FA Cup journey will continue for Marine when they host Havant & Waterlooville in the next round – a side in the sixth tier of English football.

Raven hopes his teammates will carry the confidence they took from beating Colchester into the next round.

He said: “It gives us confidence, but it’s going to be different. They won’t be a team which passes the ball side to side and tries to break us down that way.

“They will be just as desperate as we are to get to the next round because of the potential tie you can get.

“They’re above us in the leagues and they’re going to be strong and physical and it will be a real battle.

“It won’t be getting easier, but why should it? You don’t expect an easier tie once you reach the next round, we know it’s going to get harder.

“We’ve got a good chance and an opportunity to make more history, and that’s what it’s all about.”

The only disappointment from the club’s big win over Chesterfield is the absence of supporters in the stadium, to which Raven added: “It is disappointing, but it may have helped us in a way knowing Colchester didn’t have 6,000 fans or so behind them.

“But at the same time, we’re disappointed our friends and family couldn’t be there. But it was on the tele and so they got that bit of it.”