"The best penalty I've ever missed!" Boston United's Shane Byrne returns to Brackley Town with memories of FA Trophy win still fresh in his mind
Midfielder back at St James' Park for first time since summer departure
Shane Byrne may have missed a spot kick at Wembley, but the midfielder says he’d happily do it all again.
The Boston United summer signing will return to former club Brackley Town on Saturday for an FA Trophy tie with memories of the ‘best penalty I’ve ever missed’ at the forefront of his mind.
It was with the Saints that Byrne won the competition in dramatic circumstances in 2018.
Opponents Bromley were seconds away from victory before Gareth Dean equalised in the final minute of time added on.
With the two sides unable to be separated the final went to penalties.
Byrne took the first Brackley dead ball and missed, Bromley goalscorer Omar Bugial missing his side’s final spotkick - which would have sealed victory - before the Saints claimed a sudden-death victory.
“It’s the best penalty I’ve ever missed,” said Byrne, who has slotted home from the spot against York City and Hereford this season.
“If you gave it back to me today I’d miss it again as I know the outcome.
“It (winning the Trophy) was one of those memories you look back on and it brings a smile to your face.
“On the day, you’ve got your family and friends there and it’s just about doing yourself proud, doing the club proud.”
A draw away at their highflying National League North rivals may seem like a tough one for United, but Byrne believes there is no easy road to Wembley.
“We had a really tough run,” he explained.
“We drew Salford at home, who won the league that year. Then we had the likes of Sutton, Barrow, Stockport. I think we played 11 games in total to get there, a lot of replays.
“We had a great togetherness that year at Brackley and I think that’s what’s seen us through.
“We were down 1-0 with 20 seconds to go and we ended up equalising. Into a penalty shootout, I’ve missed and they’ve got a penalty to win it - everything was going against us that year.”
While some clubs and players may see the Trophy as a distraction, Byrne has a different viewpoint.
“I remember Scott Burton (previously of Salford) - I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this - he said ‘you don’t really want to win this do you?’
“I think people seem to look on the FA Trophy like that.
“I thought ‘I do’. It’s given me some of the best memories I’ve ever had, going to Wembley with my teammates, grinding in and winning there.
“It’s the stuff of dreams to do that. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to Wembley, played there and won there. It’s something I can hold for the rest of my life.”