The FA Carlsberg Vase Final
8 May 2011 - 3:00 PM
Coalville Town 2-3 Whitley Bay
Paul Chow was once again an FA Vase Final hero as Whitley Bay became the most successful club in the competition's history.
Striker Chow, who had scored on Bay's two previous visits to Wembley Stadium including the fastest ever goal at the new Wembley Stadium in last year’s Final, grabbed two more goals against Coalville Town to seal their third FA Carlsberg Vase triumph in three years, and the fourth in their history.
Lee Kerr was also on target for Ian Chandler's side, while Matt Moore and Adam Goodby both fired equalisers for the unlucky Coalville. But if a 6-1 win against Wroxham a year ago looked one-sided, this Final was far from easy for the Northern League outfit.
While Whitley Bay were bookies’ favourites having enjoyed success on 2009 and 2010, Coalville Town arrived in London full of confidence after securing the Midland Football Alliance championship and they began like a side intent on upsetting the odds.
The energetic Coalville were putting pressure on the holders defence and forced a series of early corners. Paul Robinson clearing one off the line and Terry Burke was called into action also.
The Bay stopper also had to help a deep left-hand cross from Cameron Stuart over the bar as it looped towards the far corner of his goal, while Adam Goodby also had an effort following a Coalville corner, but his volley was too high.
Bay were struggling to find a rhythm going forward, but when they did, shots from Gary Ormston, Lee Kerr and Craig McFarlane failed to trouble Coalville keeper Sean Bowles.
But on 28 minutes it was Bay, who also won The Vase in 2002, who took the lead, against the run of play. McFarlane made a great run on the right-wing position beating the full-back Stuart before squaring to Chow to tap home his 13th goal in The Vase campaign, making it one in every round for hitman.
Kerr had a chance to double the lead shortly after pulling his low-shot wide, but the main action was in the sunlit end of Wembley Stadium which Bay were defending.
Jerome Murdock thought he’d drawn his side level five minutes later but the linesman’s flag halted his celebrations and those of the travelling Leicestershire support. Goodby also came agonisingly close to an equaliser as Ian Chandler’s men continued to ride their luck. The centre-back met a dangerous in-swinging cross from the left that beat the outstretched Burke and the far post, but the ball rolled across the face of the goal and out.
Anthony Carney was the next Coalville player to have a try, volleying well from 25 yards when unmarked. His dipping shot, though, landed on the roof of the net, then Matt Moore struck the inside of the post from six yards out with Burke beaten.
Chow also showed he is human shooting over with the last chance of the half from ten yards as Bowles closed down the angle.
Within seconds of the re-start, Coalville were back on the attack as Ryan Robbins had a shot at goal which narrowly missed the upright.
But, on 58 minutes, they finally got some reward for their effort when Moore headed home. It was the cross from the left by Stuart which made the goal, beating leaps from the Whitley Bay central defenders Gareth Williams and Darren Timmons before finding the no. 9 who connected well. Burke got a glove to the ball, but it was too powerful and made its way into the net.
And it was no more than the Adam Stevens’ team deserved after creating a host of chances without a result.
However, just three minutes later Whitley Bay were back in charge.Paul Robinson worked an opening on the right and delivered a near post cross towards Kerr. He met it with a glancing header which sneaked inside the far post.
Coalville kept coming though, and first Moore had thought he’d surely scored when he had another six yard header, but somehow this time the ball bounced into the ground and against the post. Murdock also sent two shots towards the top corner, forcing a brace of fine saves from Man of the Match Burke.
But Burke could do nothing about Adam Goodby’s second leveller with ten minutes left. Anthony Carney’s excellent cross from the right picked out the no.4 ten yards out and he guided the ball into the far corner giving the keeper no chance.
With extra-time looming, McFarlane, now operating at left-back, went clear of the Coalville defence. Captain Ashley Brown came across to close but brought the Bay man down on the edge of the area.
Kerr stepped up and smashed the free-kick which ricocheted off Chow's shoulder against the bar before bouncing down a yard from the line where the striker was still standing to help in the winner. A big slice of luck but enough to crown Whitley Bay as champions yet again.
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