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Saturday 9th May 2015 ko 15.00

FA Vase Final

GLOSSOP NORTH END 1 (Bailey 55)

NORTH SHIELDS 2 (Bainbridge 80 Forster 96)

After Extra Time

Att 9,674 at Wembley Stadium

Entry- Complimentary (Many thanks to the Wessex League)

Programme £4

I do enjoy my annual trip to the Vase final, even though on this occasion I found myself photographing the same people I did a few years ago! There’s something touching about the trip to the hospitality seats and seeing all those officials from Step 5 leagues. These people aren’t the career administrators from the higher echelons, these are the people who do it for the love of it, and I do wonder whether when the event will switch to a joint Trophy and Vase day that flavour will be lost in a sea of professionalism?

Perhaps that feeling that everything is about to change made me watch the game in a different light from previous visits. I have friends at both the North West Counties and the Northern leagues so neutrality was no issue, and I rapidly started looking less for the action and more for the emotion of the occasion.

That’s not difficult to find at a final at the home of English football, and a tense game where both sides led helped me too. For me my the moment of the game in my terms was that moment at the start of the 2nd half of extra time when Glossop captain Dave Young was not allowed back on to the pitch. The medical staff adjudged him concussed, and I watched him go through the emotions of disbelief, frustration, anger and disbelief, as his team was forced to play the final 15 minutes of the game with ten men.

That extra time worried the stadium staff, as they were forced to delay such actions as the deploying to the rope to separate the players destined for the Royal Box. As Glossop’s joy turned gradually to despair as North Shields slowly found their feet, I watched the contrasting expressions on the two sets of fans in my area, all dressed to impress as the clock wound down.

In the end as in all finals the whistle saw the release of pent-up emotions from the agony of defeat to the ecstasy of victory. The trophy was presented to a volley of clichés from a stadium announcer without even a shred of emotional intelligence, and quickly afterwards the Glossop faithful slipped away back to a world of closed tube stations and misery, while North Shields celebrated with their families and friends.

There really is no better place for a footballing party than the national stadium…..