Non-league footballer hails Gibraltar win 'best moment ever'

A non-league footballer who helped Gibraltar win their first ever competitive fixture says the moment will live with him forever.

Reece Styche in action for one of his former clubs, Kidderminster Harriers.
Reece Styche in action for one of his former clubs, Kidderminster Harriers.

Reece Styche, who came through Hednesford Town’s youth system and played for the Pitmen before going on to join Chasetown and Kidderminster Harriers among others, qualifies for Gibraltar through a grandparent.

The West Midlands-born striker, who is now at Darlington, was part of the history-making Gibraltar team who beat Armenia 1-0 in the Uefa Nations League, coming off the bench in the 70th minute to help see out the game in only his fourth cap.

It was the tiny nation’s first competitive victory at the 23rd attempt after becoming a Uefa-affiliated team in 2013.

“Never have I ever had a feeling like this in football!!” tweeted the 29-year-old afterwards. “The best moment ever!!

“For one of the smallest nations in the world, the achievement we have just accomplished is astronomical.

“This moment will live with me forever. To my family I love you!! VAMOS.”

The game was not without controversy though, because Armenia played the wrong national anthem before kick-off and had to apologise to the Gibraltan FA.

Gibraltar have beaten both Malta and Latvia before, but they were in friendlies, and this victory in Group D4 was their first competitive one.

Despite having Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan in their ranks, Armenia were unable to score.

Styche had to miss Darlington’s 2-1 win at FC United of Manchester in National League North to play for his country, but it turned out to be a good decision.

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