Whitley Bay 6, Wroxham 1
Paddy Davitt Wroxham's brave FA Vase final bid ended in heavy defeat to holders Whitley Bay today at Wembley. David Batch’s side trailed at the break after two defensive howlers before Bay ran riot in the second period to retain their crown in front of 8,920 at the magnificent national stadium.
Wroxham's brave FA Vase final bid ended in heavy defeat to holders Whitley Bay today at Wembley.
David Batch's side trailed at the break after two defensive howlers before Bay ran riot in the second period to retain their crown in front of 8,920 at the magnificent national stadium.
Bay captain Leon Ryan led his troops up the famous 107 steps to the Royal Box to receive the trophy after Wroxham had taken their bow following a standing ovation from the travelling support. Man-of-the-match Paul Chow pounced after just 23 seconds following fatal indecision from Wroxham skipper Graham Challen and Scott Howie to head Bay in front.
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The luckless Andy Eastaugh them diverted Richard Hodgson's cross past Howie on 16 minutes after Paul Cook had drawn Wroxham level. Lee Kerr's superb curler seconds after the restart ended Wroxham's hopes of a comeback with defender McNeil forced off at the break following a clash of heads with Cook. Adam Johnston, Paul Robinson and Josh Gillies then struck late on to pile fresh misery on the Ridgeons League outfit.
Wroxham had emerged side by side with Bay for the biggest game in their history before being introduced to the FA presentation party and pausing for the national anthem. Chow bravely cashed in on fatal hesitation at the heart of the Wroxham backline to follow up his strike in the win over Glossop 12 months ago.
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Cook turned inside the six yard box but Hodgson shepherded him away with Wroxham's looking to hit back from the early hammer blow. Howie saved Ryan's point blank header from Bay's first corner with the Whitley skipper left unmarked.
Chow was in behind again but ran wide with Wroxham struggling to cope with the north easterners movement in the final third. Kerr looked to break on the Yachtsmen but Shaun Howes produced a perfectly timed tackle on half way.
Cook sidefooted home on 12 minutes from six yards out to draw Wroxham level after Bay failed to clear Howes' inswinging free kick.
Bay keeper Terry Burke looked uneasy again seconds later from Gavin Lemmon's deep centre but Chow was back to help clear his lines.
But Eastaugh's inadvertent touch deflected Hodgson's deep cross past Howie at the back stick to cap a crazy opening 16 minutes.
Cook careered into Burke from another Howes' pinpoint delivery with Wroxham clearly looking to target the Bay keeper aerially at ever opportunity.
Chow almost profited from McNeil's slip but Howes was around sharply on the cover on 25 minutes.
Howie miscued straight to Kerr but his cheeky long range lob sailed over the Scot's bar in front of the Wroxham fans stationed in the lower tier of the national stadium.
Ryan's last ditch tackle frustrated Gary Gilmore who looked favourite to latch onto Cook's throughball on a probing Wroxham counter.
Hodgson pick pocketed Eastaugh inside his own half but a cute reverse ball dropped the wrong side of the dangerous Chow. Whitley Bay indulged in a spot of keep ball towards the end of the half after a rare period of calm following the early goal fireworks.
Challen cut across to thwart Chow with the holders looking to hit the big frontman on the diagonal.
Hodgson sprung Wroxham's offside track on 38 minutes to race clear but Eastaugh's superb block diverted his goal bound strike from 18 yards. Gilmore was inches from connecting with Cook's driven near post cross before Burke patted it behind. Lemmon's free kick in stoppage time flew straight to Burke whose clean take drew applause from the large Bay contingent.
Howie's acrobatic tip over denied Johnston in the final act of the half from Robinson's corner.
t Half-time: Whitley Bay 2, Wroxham 1
Josh Carus replaced McNeil on the restart but Cook was able to return with a heavily bandaged head.
Kerr's stunning curler seconds after the restart moved Whitley further in front in an uncanny echo of the opening period after checking inside Gavin Pauling to loft over Howie.
Eastaugh again threw up a roadblock to frustrate opposite number Hodgson with Wroxham desperate for a foothold in the final. Howie clawed out Paul Robinson's piledriver on 58 minutes but had no chance when Johnson pounced from close range after he could only parry Chow's half volley.
Steve Spriggs' free kick from the edge of the Bay area flew into the first row of Wroxham supporters to sum up the Yachtsmen's miserable day on 67 minutes.
Ross Durrant then headed over Spriggs' teasing cross from eight yards out with Wroxham still refusing to give up on their FA Vase dream. Durrant's swivelling half volley struck Phil Bell and flew behind - Durrant unable to take Howes' corner in his stride.
Bell earned the game's first caution on 77 minutes for falling under Howes' challenge inside the penalty box. Burke fumbled Howes' strike behind at his near post before Carus' header bounced into the Bay keeper's arms.
Bell was inches wide from a fifth on 82 minutes with Wroxham heavily outnumbered at the back but Robinson made no mistake with an angled lash on 88 minutes to seal the Yachtsmen's fate. Josh Gillies stoppage time sixth was rough justice on Batch's game side but Whitley Bay were deserved victors to cap a record-equalling third success in the prestigious competition.
t Result: Whitley Bay 6, Wroxham 1
t Whitley Bay: Burke, McFarlane, Anderson, Hodgson (Picton, 68), Timmons, Ryan, Johnston (Gillies, 77), Robson, Kerr, Chow (Bell, 61), Robinson. Subs (not used): Kindley, Reid.
Bookings: Bell, McFarlane.
Goals: Chow (1), Eastaugh (16 og), Kerr (46), Johnston (59), Robinson (88), Gillies (90)
t Wroxham: Howie, Pauling (Durrant, 58), Howes, Challen, McNeil (Carus, 45), Eastaugh (Paynter, 68), Lemmon, Spriggs, Cook, White, Gilmore. Subs (not used): Self, Simpson.
Goal: Cook (12)
t Referee: A Taylor
t Attendance: 8,920