Two seasons ago Stockport County appeared destined to fall out of the Football League while striker Liam Dickinson was playing part-time for local non-league club Woodley Sports.
Fittingly, then, it was Dickinson's goal that took Jim Gannon's side into the League Two play-off final where the next stage of the club's revival will be complete if they can beat Rochdale.
Dickinson joined the club in December 2005 in a £5,000 transfer engineered by Chris Turner, the former manager. Within days Turner had gone following the depressing 6-0 Boxing Day defeat to Macclesfield Town that appeared to sum up the problems afflicting the club and Dickinson could have been forgiven for thinking that his second attempt at breaking into the full-time game was doomed.
The appointment of Gannon marked a shift in fortunes, not least for Dickinson himself who, now 22, struck his 20th goal of the season in the seventh minute to secure a hard-fought victory over a Wycombe side that deserved more for their impressive efforts.
"I came from Woodley two and a half years ago, so to get to go to Wembley is a dream come true," Dickinson said.
"I played for Blackburn Rovers and Bolton when I was younger. You're thinking it's a stroll in the park, but when you come out of it all you realise what an opportunity you've missed out on and when you come back you want to work your hardest and make sure you get a contract. I came out of it and I thought 'that's the end of it now, I've got to get a job'. I managed to get my chance and I'm now making the most of it."
For Wycombe manager Paul Lambert the mood was more sombre. "I have a few things to think about," he said, pondering his future. "I have no problems with the club or anyone at the club. It's about football and a decision I have to take on football terms."
Stockport County (4-3-3): Logan; James Smith, McNulty, Owen, Rose; Rowe, Dicker, McSweeney (Pilkington, 80), Gleeson (Taylor ,68), Turnbull, Dickinson (Tunnicliffe, 90). Substitutes not used: Ruddy, Proudlock.
Wycombe Wanderers (4-3-3): Fielding; Martin, Williamson, Johnson, Woodman (Sutton, 90); Holt, Doherty, Oakes; McGleish, Torres (Knight, 77), Facey. Substitutes not used: Young, McCracken, Phillips.
Referee: A D'Urso (Essex).