Game 40: Sholing 1.0 West Auckland Town (FA Vase Final) 10.05.14
For the third final of the week I travelled up to Wembley Stadium to watch the FA Vase final between Wessex League champions Sholing and West Auckland Town from the Northern League. I got to the stadium as it opened and was pleased to find my seat in the Sholing section was undercover, especially when the rain started to pour pre-match.
Pre-match I watched the players warm up and read the programme, noting that for several of the Sholing players this would be their final game before retirement, including former Salisbury favourite Tyronne Bowers.
The match itself was in stark contrast to the earlier finals in the week – no early goals and two teams who cancelled each other out for the first half. Sholing’s keeper was the busier of the two, making a couple of vital saves and tipping a freekick away from the goal. The conditions made it difficult as the rain became heavier around half time.
Sholing took the lead midway through the half, the ball was passed long to the left wing and a West Auckland player could only head it backwards into the path of McClean. He ran through into the left side of the area and hit a low show just as a covering defender got back – the defender slid in and the ball took a deflection off him and bounced high and away from the keeper. It seemed to take an age but the ball flew down and into the side of the goal to the delight of the supporters around me.
With time not on their side, West Auckland pressed for an equaliser but the Sholing keeper continued to thwart them, making some spectacular saves from on target shots. In the final moments his opposite number made his way forward for a corner. The first cross was cleared, the second one found it’s way to the far post where it was headed against the post and cleared. A dramatic ending to an entertaining game.