Dunston UTS 2-0 West Auckland Town
The FA Carlsberg Vase
3pm, Sunday 13 March 2012
Winning club receives £15,000 and runners-up £7000 from The FA's prize fund
An Andrew Bulford brace secured a first-ever FA Carlsberg Vase crown for Dunston UTS, as his double helped to defeat West Auckland Town in The Final.
His first goal came on 32 minutes, when he latched on to Stephen Goddard’s flick and dinked a cute lob over Auckland ‘keeper Mark Bell.
Bulford then secured the win in the 79th minute when he fired home from close range, again after being found by his strike partner.
In scoring at Wembley, not only did Bulford win his side The Vase, he also wrote himself into the history books, as he scored in every round of this season’s competition, including replays.
West Auckland put Dunston under immense pressure in the second half, but they were unable to break down a stubborn defence and Billy Irwin’s side held on for their moment of glory.
However, a sloppy kick-off from Dunston almost handed West Auckland a dream start. Mattie Moffat won possession straight from the centre and fed Michael Rae, whose dipping shot dropped just over the top of Liam Connell’s bar with less than ten seconds on the clock.
This chance appeared to give ‘West’ an early bout of confidence and Moffat soon saw a shot of his own flash just high and wide of the target before Rae headed Stuart Banks’ right-wing cross just past the post.
West Auckland were on top in the opening exchanges with Banks the next player to have a crack at goal, but they were only the width of a post away from falling behind against the run of play.
Steven Shaw swung an in-swinging free-kick into the box which Michael Dixon headed goalwards, but the ball bounced off Mark Bell’s left-hand upright. Chris Swailes smashed in the rebound, but the goal was ruled out for offside against the 41-year-old centre back.
Dunston had slowly grown into the game and it took some alert, and composed, defending from West right-back Neil Pattinson to prevent Bulford a clean strike at goal when he went in search of Dixon’s clearance.
The game really sprang to life in the 27th minute when both sides could have taken the lead. Pattinson was again the West Auckland hero as his sliding interception inside the box thwarted Bulford for a second time in quick succession. The ball was immediately moved forward and Mark Hudson’s pinpoint crossfield ball found his skipper’s run into the Dunston area. Moffat looked for the corner but Connell produced a decent stop with his legs.
The game had really opened up with both sides looking for the opening goal. Kane Young slipped a ball into the path of Bulford who was racing through the centre but some good covering by centre back John Parker kept the scores at 0-0. It wasn’t goalless for long, though, as Bulford put his side ahead with a cool finish.
Just after the half-an-hour mark, a goal kick from Connell was flicked into Bulford’s path by Goddard. The Dunston goal machine kept his composure to lift an impudent lob over Bell from just outside the box to propel himself into FA Vase folklore.
West Auckland refused to lie down, though, and a jinking run from Banks saw him break into the box, only to poke narrowly wide. And just minutes before the break, Dunston skipper Ben Cattanach was on-hand to head Hudson’s chip to the far post over his own bar with Moffat lurking.
Peter Dixon’s charges really took the game to Dunston after the restart and Moffat thought he had equalised from close range in the 52nd minute, only to be denied by the assistant referee’s flag.
With 30 minutes remaining Martin Young was brought on for Adam Nicholls and the West Auckland sub almost had an immediate impact as he found Hudson with a wonderfully disguised through ball. Hudson wanted to many touches to get the ball under control, though, and Cattanach tidied up for Dunston.
Young also had a chance of his own when Dunston failed to clear their lines, but Connell gratefully collected the loose ball.
Irwin’s side had been under the cosh for most of the second half but they had two good chances to put the result beyond doubt, and the woodwork intervened each time. First, Bulford thumped a 20-yard strike off the bar with Bell beaten, and moments later, Goddard chipped the ball over Bell only to see it bounce back off the frame of the goal.
Bulford had a further two chances as the game entered its final quarter, but was off target with one and found Bell too good with the other.
It transpired that these chances were merely sighters, as a real striker’s finish from the would-be Man of the Match put the game beyond West Auckland – and again he had Goddard to thank for playing the ball into his path.
A high ball into the box was flicked on by Goddard and Bulford pounced, hooking the ball home from an angle in the 79th minute to win Dunston their first-ever FA Vase title.
1 Liam Connell, 2 Ben Cattanach (C), 3 Terry Galbraith, 4 Michael Robson, 5 Chris Swailes, 6 Kane Young, 7 Steven Shaw, 8 Michael Dixon, 9 Stephen Goddard (16 Steven Preen, 85), 10 Andrew Bulford (14 Danny Craggs, 89), 11 Lee McAndrew
Substitutes not used 13 Andrew Clark, 12 Ian Herron, 15 Jack Burns
Manager Billy Irwin
West Auckland Town
1 Mark Bell, 2 Neil Pattinson, 3 Andrew Green, 4 Jonny Gibson, 5 John Parker, 6 Mark Stephenson (12 Daniel Hindmarsh, 77), 7 Stuart Banks, 8 Mark Hudson, 9 Mattie Moffat (C), 10 Michael Rae, 11 Adam Nicholls (19 Martin Young, 60)
Substitutes not used 18 Daryl Hall, 23 Ross Preston, 25 Matthew Coad
Manager Peter Dixon
Referee Roger East
Dunston UTS captain Ben Cattanach lifts The FA Carlsberg Vase at Wembley Stadium.
An Andrew Bulford brace secures maiden FA Vase title for Dunston UTS.
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