The FA Vase Final
11 May 2008
The FA Carlsberg Vase Final
Kirkham & Wesham 2 - 1 Lowestoft Town
Matt Walwyn was the hero for Kirkham & Wesham as the Lancashire club lifted The FA Carlsberg Vase at their first ever attempt.
The 18 year old striker arrived from the bench with eleven minutes left to turn the game on its head and bag two goals as Kirkham came from behind against Lowestoft Town.
His energy immediately caused problems for the tired Lowestoft rear guard and within five minutes he'd levelled matters after the Eastern Counties League side had taken a tenth minute lead.
Then, as extra time beckoned, he appeared in support of Sean Paterson who was clean through on goal. The man of the match rolled into the path of the former Blackburn Rovers academy player and he did the rest tucking away in front of the travelling fans.
If the game ended in Kirkham & Wesham's favour, though, it began in Lowestoft's, who enjoyed the best of the early exchanges as their opponents looked nervous.
Russell Stock found space on the edge of the Kirkham & Wesham box opening up for a powerful shot, which was blocked. The rebound fell nicely to Ross King who turned 15 yards out and fired first time goalwards, but Peter Summerfield saved it well.
Lowestoft then took the advantage. Matt Potter delivered in a deep cross towards Stock, but it was the head of Phil Thompson who connected looping the ball over his own keeper.
Kirkham responded, though, and Mike Clark's neat pass through the Lowestoft defencegave Mark Wane his first run on goal. However, the ball was just too far in front of the HGV driver and it bounced into the welcoming hands of keeper Andy Reynolds.
Paterson cam close to levelling things up on the half hour, and will think himself incredibley unlucky. Watching the ball drop into the Lowestoft area, he managed a slight touch to take it past the Suffolk side's skipper Marcus Saunders and tee up a volley. His effort smashed against the post, before striking the flailing hand of Reynolds. It looked destined to bounce back over the line, but hit the bar and somehow stayed out.
Kirkham continued to pressurise Lowestoft and had another glorious opening five minutes before the break. Darren Cockrill gave the ball away in a dangerous position, Phil Blackwell picked it up before sliding into Paterson in the right hand channel. He squared across the six yard box to Wane, but his shot was snuffed out by a last ditch challenge from Carl Poppy.
The North West Counties League side started the second half as they finished the first, with Ged Smith collecting a pass out on the left before smashing goalwards, but his effort just evaded the far post.
Lowestoft were being patient over their attacks, with Jamie Godbold pulling the strings in the centre of midfield looking to open up the Kirkham defence. However, it wasn't proving easy and both Godbold and substitute Dale Cockrill, who had replaced his older brother Darren at half time, had to try shots from range with both efforts missing the target.
Godbold did test Summerfield moments later though. Breaking down the right he cut in and drove hard towards goal, but the 'keeper made a solid save to keep it out.
Lowestoft again found some joy down the right as Bradley Hough broke clear with 20 minutes left. Hough had just Thompson up alongside him defending, and created room for the shot but it drifted over the bar.
Then a moment of madness at the other end looked to be the last real chance for Kirkham & Wesham. A long ball from the left outwitted Reynolds and dropped inside the six yard box to Paterson.
With the 'keeper out of the picture, it was a mass of Suffolk arms, legs and bodies blocking a clear sight to goal, he rolled inside to Wane to prod towards the net. Somehow though, it stayed out and the clearance gave Reynolds a chance to get back to block the second attempt.
With six minutes left, Kirkham were finally rewarded for their efforts. Paterson was away in the sun drenched east end of the pitch and passed inside to substitute Walwyn. He did the rest, controlling well ten yards out before smashing low beyond Reynolds.
The A Level student was a livewire and his pace caused more problems for Lowestoft, two attempts to win it in normal time were calmly dealt with by the 'keeper, but when Paterson presented him with one last opportunity in injury time, a simple tap in won it.
Their name next season will be AFC Fylde, but the name on The Vase this year is Kirkham and Wesham.
Kirkham & Wesham: 1 Pete Summerfield, 2 Allan Jackson (12 Matt Welwyn, 79), 3 Tony Keefe (15 Ritchie Allen, 55), 4 Phil Thompson, 6 Dougie Shaw (c), 7 Paul Eastwood, 8 Mike Clark, 9 Phil Blackwell, 10 Mark Wane, 11 Sean Paterson (16 James Sheppard, 90), 14 Ged Smith
Subs Not Used: 5 Jon Moffatt, 21 Joe Abbott
Lowestoft Town: 1 Andy Reynolds, 2 Carl Poppy, 3 Matt Potter, 4 Richard Woodrow, 5 Marcus Saunders (C), 6 Neil Plaskett (12 Gary McKee, 79), 7 Jamie Godbold, 8 Darren Cockrill (14 Dale Cockrill, 46), 9 Russell Stock, 10 Bradley Hough, 11 Ross King (16 Reece Hunn, 55)
Subs Not Used: 15 Ali McKenna, 17 Adam Rix