THEY can already brag about the width of their high street, and now Stockton can say they’re going to Wembley too.

A flag hanging in the seated stand at Stockton Town’s Bishopton Road West ground on Saturday offered a gentle reminder of the town’s high street being “wider than yours”, and now their fans can chant about their team gracing the national stadium on May 20.

They will play against Berkshire club Thatcham Town, Saturday seeing Stockton overcome Teesside neighbours Marske United in a thriller, full of goalmouth incident, two teams giving everything in their desire to become the latest Northern League club to reach the non-league showpiece.

Marske won 2-1 but lost 3-2 on aggregate, Stockton edging home to continue the club’s rapid rise.

They only took their tentative first steps in the Teesside League in 2009-10, having presviously been a club only for juniors, and it’s only two years ago that they won promotion from the Wearside League.

“People have asked if this was one of our targets at the beginning of the season, but it never even entered our minds that we would be doing something like this,” admitted an emotional Martin Hillerby, the Stockton chairman.

The final will live forever in the memory, as will Saturday’s titanic Teesside tussle.

The final stages were particularly dramatic, each of the teams having a goal disallowed, there were strong penalty shouts at both ends, and an open goal missed. It was tense and traumatic for both teams.

“There’s probably a patch now on the floor where I was pacing up and down in the last few minutes,” admitted Micky Dunwell, manager of the victorious team, a friend of Carl Jarrett, the Marske manager.

“I can’t put into words what I’m feeling. Every player ran his socks off and put his body on the line.

“It was a brilliant cup tie over the two legs, there’s got to be a winner and that was us.

“Everyone was brilliant today.

We’ll enjoy this one first, and then we’ll plan for Wembley.”

Stockton were already halfway to Wembley, having seven days previously won the first leg 2-0, and they should have held a three-goal advantage within moments of kick-off on Saturday.

Striker Fred Woodhouse, a scorer last week, was one-one-one but allowed goalkeeper Robert Dean to save, and it was not long before Marske made their mark.

A free-kick from deep was hoisted into Stockton’s box and headed into Liam O’Sullivan’s path, the left-back shooting home assuredly to make it 1-0 with only eight minutes gone.

They were now only one goal behind in the tie, the comeback was on, but having held most of the possession last week without scoring, Marske would again struggle to break down a resilient Stockton rearguard.

Stockton shaded the remainder of a fast-paced half. Speedy winger Kevin Hayes got into penalty area but his low shot was saved by Dean, then Marske’s Joshua Rowbotham got a toe in to stop Jamie Owens before he pulled the trigger.

“That’s not what we’re about today,” admitted Dunwell. “We took the game to Marske and I think they got a bit of a shock. Yes, they scored early on, but we came back and I think possession-wise we had a lot more and deserved our goal on half-time and it was a great time to get it.

“We were a bit shell-shocked when they got that early goal and if they’d got another one the tie might have gone the other way, but we regrouped and got that goal just before half-time.”

That goal came from Nathan Mulligan, the midfielder holding his nerve when Hayes was tripped just inside the penalty area.

Mulligan, a Darlington player in 2009-10, showed no nerves and smashed home before racing away to celebrate, the home crowd greeting the goal with a huge roar, knowing their team was now 3-1 up on aggregate with Wembley arching into view.

Marske were not done yet, however, with James Fairley showing what he is capable of with a fine individual goal. After receiving a pass on the right from Chay Liddle, Fairley dribbled through a yellow wall of Stockton defenders, breaking into the penalty area and keeping his composure to score, making it 2-1 to Marske on the day and 3-2 to Stockton on aggregate.

He was soon involved again, this time when a darting run ended with a tumble inside the box, referee Thomas Bramall waving away appeals.

As the half progressed and time ran out, the game became more frantic, it was end-to-end. There were no buses parked here, it was all-out attack.

There was a remarkable moment when Stockton ‘scored’ accidentally. Mulligan volleyed the ball to the Marske goalkeeper from halfway after play had been stopped to allow a player to be treated, but it looped over Deane.

There were sighs of relief, controversy averted, as Bramall ruled it out, and play restarted with a goal kick.

“That’s a new rule now, you can’t do that, it’s unsporting behaviour, and I thought the referee handled that quite well,” explained Dunwell.

“The referees were both good over the two legs – they always get stick, but the officials over the two legs were excellent.”

As Marske, needing one goal to take the tie into extra-time, desperately searched for a leveller, they began to throw men forward, but Stockton No. 1 Michael Arthur pulled off a marvellous save to keep his side ahead.

It was one-handed, leaping to his right to claw the ball out of the air to stop a header by Curtis Round.

The tempo increased in a frenetic finish, Marske sending defender Leon Carling up front, and at times Stockton’s goal was under siege. Jarrett’s team thought they’d scored an equaliser when Rowbotham smashed home, but their celebrations were cut short as it was ruled out for a foul.

While Marske gambled, Stockton exposed gaps, and were denied a stonewall penalty when Hayes was tripped, then Sonni Coleman missed an open goal from an acute angle in the dying seconds.

Dunwell said: “Michael Arthur made one of the best saves you’ve seen for a long time at 2-1, a goal then would’ve made it level on aggregate.

“I think that save gave us the lift we needed and it sucked the life out of Marske, they might have thought it wasn’t going to be their day.

“Then we had two or three breaks – Sonni rolled the ball across the line when he could have squared it, and you’re starting to wonder if the game will ever stop.”

Eventually Bramall brought to an end a breathless affair, signalling a pitch invasion of jubilant fans as well as television camera crews eager for a word with the winners.

This was Stockton’s moment in the sun, a place in the Vase final rich reward for a club on the up.

An emotional Hillerby added: “It’s beyond words. Look at the people here today, we could have sold 10,000 tickets. It’s unbelievable the way the town is behind the club now.

“I can’t say what it feels like, I’m just stunned, absolutely stunned, at where we find ourselves.

“I was in a bit of a daze at full-time.”