Wingate goalkeeper Gore talks on FA Cup success, promotion and Dons days

Shane Gore of Wingate & Finchley during Wingate & Finchley vs Potters Bar Town, Bostik League Premie

Shane Gore of Wingate & Finchley during Wingate & Finchley vs Potters Bar Town, Bostik League Premier Division Football at the Harry Abrahams Stadium on 23rd March 2019 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Learning from Premier League goalkeepers Neil Sullivan and Kelvin Davis to FA Cup success and National League promotion, Wingate & Finchley goalkeeper Shane Gore reveals plenty about his career.

Shane Gore of Wingate and Finchley during Hornchurch vs Wingate & Finchley, BetVictor League Premier

Shane Gore of Wingate and Finchley during Hornchurch vs Wingate & Finchley, BetVictor League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 31st August 2019 - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

The 38-year-old, who has been with the Blues for four seasons, started his career on the books of Wimbledon and slowly broke into the first-team.

The experienced goalkeeper admitted he probably took those great opportunities for granted at the time, but looks back on them with fond memories.

“If you look back now at my time at Wimbledon, you think young pro and the calibre of goalies I was training with everyday, Neil Sullivan, Scottish international, and then you had people like John Hartson training and players like that.

“At the time you don’t really appreciate it, I was looking through some old photos and programmes the other day, and we used to play in the Premier League reserve league and some of players I’ve played against in that as a kid was amazing.

Shane Gore of Wingate & Finchley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Shane Gore of Wingate & Finchley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

“I was number two to Kelvin Davis for a couple of years as well and managed to sneak an appearance in when we were in the Championship, which is my only league game, but some great times.”

The former Havant & Waterlooville keeper says they were ‘lucky’ the youth team goalkeepers that were breaking through learnt so much from experienced professionals.

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“How could you not, we were very fortunate, Wimbledon at the time were a Premier League club but all the goalkeepers were training with the first team and the reserves as well,” he added.

“Then you work your way up and become a pro, and I suppose I could class myself in the end as a first-team squad player, which is fantastic.

“Neil Sullivan, Kelvin Davis and Paul Heald, who was a legend at Wimbledon, is a good pal and I still speak to him every now and then.

“You just think back and we were very lucky, there were two or three of us, myself, Lee Worgan who has had a great career at Maidstone, Dover etc, and a guy called Bryn Halliwell who had a very good career in Scotland.

“Ian Feuer was there for a while, he went on to play for America, and was a LA Galaxy coach which is just mad and you don’t appreciate it at the time and it’s really nice to look back on.”

And not many non-league goalkeepers can claim that former Arsenal and Nigerian striker Kanu has scored a hat-trick against them during their career.

“I remember playing against Arsenal reserves and for whatever reason they had so many first-team players playing and Kanu, who was at his peak, scored a hat-trick against me so he is probably one I wouldn’t wanted to have faced again,” added Gore.

“At our level I have noticed every year it’s got harder, there is a lot more being filtered down due to the amount of foreign players, and there is a lot of players that should be playing National League playing in our league instead.”

Gore also revealed winning promotion with Barnet was a strange feeling as that season was an injury-hit one for himself which took some of the edge away from it.

“Fantastic memories and two years there, quite up and down really,” he added.

“I come in October time from Wimbledon as the club had gone into administration and a lot of us being asked to leave and find other clubs. We lost in the semi-finals against Shrewsbury Town over two legs and I probably played my two best games for the club on TV in those games.

“As fantastic and an honour it was to win the National League, I probably only played 10 to 12 games that season as I had broke my leg. I felt I contributed, don’t get me wrong, and no one can take that league title away from me but it would have been nice to have played a few more games.

“It is a great memory, we had some great guys, and we had a reunion last year and it was quite nice to see everyone.

“We’ve now got a Whatsapp group and it’s quite nice to see a few old faces every now and again. They were some good times and we had some really good players that have gone on to bigger and better things as well.”

One of Gore’s best memories was during his time with Chesham where they pulled off an FA Cup upset in the first round with a 1-0 victory.

“More recently one memory that stands out was at Chesham when we beat Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup first round away – that was a massive day and probably one of the top two or three moments in my career,” he said.

“We were under so much pressure, the last 20 minutes were like the Alamo, making saves, bodies on the line, and scraping for our lives, so to get the win was just fantastic.”