BARNTON are just 90 minutes away from European football.

The humble Townfield Lane club reached the final of the new FA National Systems Cup on Saturday - and one more victory would take them to Slovenia in September and a place in -the UEFA Regions Cup.

They play the Cambridgeshire League, a representative side drawing -heavily on the Fulbourn Institute team, at Cambridge United on May 8 after beating South West League 2-1 at St Blazey.

For Bill Perrin, Barnton's 77-year-old stalwart, it was a special moment. He has put in 50 years as player and official at Townfield Lane and was close to tears at the final whistle.

'The team was excellent, tremendous. I first played for Barnton in 1950 and Saturday's win was emotional.

'It is incredible that this has come about and I am so proud.

Barnton, as champions for seven years, were chosen to represent the Mid Cheshire League in the inaugural tournament for the level of football just below the non-league pyramid.

They received a bye in the first round, then beat the Liverpool Combination before their win in Cornwall.

Now players and officials can hardly believe the prospects opening up for them. -If Barnton represent England, they will be given all the expense and luxury afforded the national team.

Mark Warburton, assistant to manager Nick Armitage, said: 'For Eriksson and Kidd read Armitage and Warburton!

'We have got to win the next game first, but the incentive is incredible.

'The FA say whatever the England side gets, the winners will get - suits, travel, hotels - the lot.

'When the whistle went on Saturday, the lads went mental and you can appreciate why.'

Barnton meet Poulton Vics at Vauxhall Motors on Friday (7pm) in the finalofthe Cheshire Amateur Cup. But they look likely to hand over their MCL title to Middlewich Town after a series of bad results.

Barnton take heart from beating the SWL team of semi-professionals and, fittingly, one of their goals came from midfielder Steve Davies - the only player afield who actually comes from the village.

Northern Ireland, Malta and Slovenia are England's UEFA opponents, with a second group playing in Romania and the final in Bosnia.