Now you can really sing it like you mean it. The Shots are going up, and there is absolutely no mistaking that.

Bank Holiday Easter Monday, 2003, will now live as long in the memory as March 20, 1992, when the club's army of devoted fans turned up in their usual numbers to witness the last league encounter for their fallen side at Cardiff City's Ninian Park.

However, whereas that day had a rather unhappy ending, the Shots' 1-1 draw at Sutton United signalled the start of championship celebrations that these die-hard fans are worthy of for their passionate support alone.

After away victories at Basingstoke, Kingstonian and then the Shots' leading title contenders, Canvey Island, the tone had well and truly been set for what promised to be a very happy Easter for the bunnies dressed in red and then blue.

And with three of the four points necessary for promotion being picked up in the 5-1 hammering of St Albans City on Easter Saturday, the champagne was kept on ice over the weekend as the trip to Surrey Beckoned for Terry Brown and his triumphant squad.

Whilst this performance was by no means pretty, it simply epitomised everything about Aldershot Town — hardworking and dedicated to success.

Now, Conference football finally beckons after so many years being labelled as the nearly men of Ryman League football.

And don't think for one minute that these boys will be entering the summit of non-league football with their eyes focussed purely on making up the numbers. There is simply far too much talent in the ranks for that to happen.

A jubilant Brown said after the stalemate: "I'm obviously delighted for the fans and all the people who have made this possible today because this is a culmination of 11 years' hard work. I have only come in at the back end and reaped a bit of the glory but I am enjoying every minute of it."

The manager could afford himself a pat on the back slightly prematurely during this encounter, as the news filtered through to Gander Green Lane of Canvey's slip at Billericay.

Therefore, even a late goal being conceded would not have been able to snatch the prize from the passionate manager's arms as the final whistle signalled the encore for the fans to make their charge onto the pitch.

Perhaps their entrance onto the Sutton surface would have indicated just how difficult this game was for playing neat, attractive football.

For as great as the Shots' support may be in terms of numbers, there are times when their frustrations don't help and you would think with the title being virtually tied up that they would remain calm, but sadly for a few — and only a few — this was not the case.

Don't get me wrong, they are entitled to be frustrated when they pay their money and play such a significant role in the club's progress. But the small number who allowed their anger to be shown in the direction of the players who have worked so hard all season should take a good look at themselves. Why could they not just enjoy the whole occasion?

Perhaps they should also try playing football on a pitch that was more reminiscent of Aintree after a Saturday afternoon race meeting; they may then see what their boys have to go through.

That point should be made because it is not relevant to only the Sutton game.

This set of players are probably better suited to Conference football anyway. Better playing surfaces and better opposition may well serve in Brown's favour. For this season at least though, his players have had to deal with winning the hard way but win they certainly have done and that is why they are standing as kings of their castle.

In truth, this encounter was not about the football. It was all about the championship and in a scrappy first half, neither side managed to threaten despite Dominic Sterling having his headed effort ruled out for pushing in the box.

Former Shots player Mark Watson came close to opening the scoring in the 57th minute with a scorching volley that tested the side netting rather than Gareth Howells — himself a substitute for Nikki Bull.

But when Roscoe D'Sane hit home from close range just three minutes later after a mistake by Dean Hamlin, the road to the championship was finally coming to an end.

However, Sutton made an instant response when Nicky Bailey let fly with a thumping volley that left Howells with little chance.

D'Sane came close to giving the visitors the lead again in the 75th minute when he rounded Jamie Ribolla in the Sutton goal, only to see his effort cleared off the line by Ryan Palmer.

But Lee Charles really should have settled things just four minutes later when he failed to get on the end of a D'Sane cross, however, party time was just starting as the final whistle approached.

And amongst the 2,000 strong crowd, one man was able to stand proud knowing that the dream he had started was finally coming true. The crowds' chants of ‘there's only one Terry Owens' reminded their man that he had not been forgotten.

Brown added: "I wanted us to put a performance on but they were loving it at the end. They (the players) weren't too sure whether they should get rid of their shirts but I am just hoping that the chairman might just decide to get rid of his double-breasted beige suit that he was wearing today, I may have to have a word with him about that."

SHOTS: Bull (sub Howells 51mins), Hooper, Nutter, Cousins, Sterling, Perkins (L.Charles 55), Roddis, Holsgrove, McLean (Browne 66), D'Sane, Buckle.

Att: 2,002. Ref: S.Beck.

l Michael Harper is out of the Hampshire Senior Cup Final after breaking his arm whilst on loan at Aylesbury United. The 19-year old suffered the injury whilst playing against Chesham on Bank Holiday Monday.

l The stage is of course now set for another series of Aldershot/Farnborough Town derbies after Ian McDonald's side secured their vital point at Cherrywood Road.