The FA Carlsberg Vase
Semi-Final Second Leg
3pm, Saturday 4 April
Winning clubs receive £7000 from The FA's prize fund
Click here for fixtures
The FA Carlsberg Vase has been on its travels this week with the silverware visiting Whitley Bay and Wroxham ahead of this weekend’s Semi-Final second legs.
Vase holders Bay, who drew 3-3 with Barwell in last week’s first leg, hosted The FA Vase on a blustery day at the seaside with the town’s iconic St Mary’s Lighthouse providing the backdrop and striker Phil Bell is banking on a big double this Saturday – a place in Ian Chandler’s line-up against Barwell and the prospect of playing infront of a full house at Hillheads: “It was great to play at Wembley and if it never happened again I’d still be happy but I really want to start against Barwell.
“I would love as many people as possible to be there on Saturday and there’s every chance of the ground being full of 3,000 supporters. Our fans have been excellent this season, and we know that they will be behind us on the weekend.
“Home and away they have been great and we double the crowd wherever we go.”
Bay boss Ian Chandler then issued a rallying cry for fans from across the north-east to join them at Hillheads on Saturday: “The crowd are very important on Saturday and we need them.
“It will be a fantastic cup tie this week and we would love as many people to be there,” added Chandler, who guided Whitley Bay to a 2-0 win over Glossop North End in last year’s Final.
Saturday’s big game at Hillheads will also highlight a major fundraising initiative for one of last season’s Wembley winners, Mark Taylor, who has had to retire due to Motor Neurone’s Disease. For more information visit www.marktaylorfund.com
The FA Vase then completed its near 1000 mile round trip when Wroxham FC welcomed the trophy on Thursday at their tiny Trafford Park ground.
The Norfolk-based Eastern Counties League side beat Whitehawk 2-0 in their away leg in Brighton last Saturday and are hopeful that they can now clinch a place in The Final at Wembley on 9 May.
The Yachtsman’s longest serving player is Gavin Pauling, 39, who has been with the club for over 17 years and said: “I was once on the books at Norwich City and Peterborough but to play at Wembley Stadium would be a fantastic way to end my playing career.
“It was brilliant to win 2-0 down there, it could have been more to be honest, but we know that Whitehawk are a decent side so we’ll go in there and treat it as another game and 0-0,"
Pauling also revealed that Wroxham boss David Batch will be using some eccentric methods to get the most out of his team on Saturday: “Batchy will want us to prepare properly so we’ll meet up at a hotel beforehand, even though it’s a home game.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if we watch a few DVDs before the game as well. He’s shown us stuff like Michael Jordan talking about being a winner in basketball, that kind of thing.
“It really gets everyone focused and motivated on the big game ahead.”
The FA Vase finished its trip to East Anglia by going on display at the world’s largest village store, Roys of Wroxham.
Pictures courtesy of News Guardian.