The Buildbase FA Vase is heading to Tyneside after South Shields defeated Cleethorpes Town at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Sunday afternoon.
Graham Fenton and Lee Picton’s troops ran out deserved winners as they claimed the first national trophy in their club’s history thanks to goals from Carl Finnigan, Dillon Morse, and a late David Foley brace.
The Mariners found their feet the quickest and, with nine minutes on the clock, Cleethorpes keeper Liam Higton was forced to rush off his line bravely to deny former Falkirk frontman Finnigan after he was played in by Gavin Codgon’s clever reverse pass.
- The Buildbase FA Vase
- Sunday 21 May 2017
- Wembley Stadium connected by EE
It took until the 25th minute for the Owls to get a foothold in the Final, striker Brody Robertson gained a yard on his marker before forcing keeper Liam Connell to tip away his low effort.
Shortly afterwards, a flowing team move saw Cleethorpes fashion a golden opportunity to open the scoring but the ball got caught under Marc Cooper’s feet just as he was shaping up to shoot at goal.
At the other end, South Shields’ Finnigan saw two efforts deflected away by blue and black shirts.
And on 42 minutes, Cleethorpes full-back Tim Lowe conceded a spot-kick as he clumsily tripped Cogdon.
Finnigan took the resultant spot-kick and calmly rolled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to send the 10,000-plus travelling party of Mariners fans into ecstasy.
The Northern League Division One champions’ joy was nearly doubled in first-half stoppage time as Cogdon, who scored the opening goal when Spennymoor Town beat Tunbridge Wells 2-1 to win the 2013 Vase Final, saw a fizzing low effort tipped up and onto the woodwork by Higton.
Early in the second period, South Shields defender Morse headed onto the roof of the net and in the 49th minute, Foley took aim and his long-range howitzer was diverted onto the crossbar by an acrobatic Higton.
The Owls keeper had to be at his brightest again shortly afterwards to beat away a Cogdon strike while, at the other end, Robertson was denied by a diving last-ditch challenge from the Mariners’ Alex Nicholson.
The Mariners wrapped up victory with 10 minutes to go as Robert Briggs’ expertly-delivered free-kick was headed home by Morse.
Then, in the 86th minute, they added further gloss to an unforgettable day when Richardson’s clever ball cleaved open the Cleethorpes defence and, with only Higton to beat, Foley finished with aplomb.
The ex-Hartlepool United forward was not finished there however, and with normal time almost complete, he lashed home past Higton to round off a quickfire double.
Cleethorpes Town: 1 Liam Higton; 2 Tim Lowe, 5 Matt Bloomer, 6 Matty Coleman, 3 Peter Winn; 7 Liam Davis, 4 Liam Dickens, 8 Alex Flett (capt), 11 Jon Oglesby; 9 Marc Cooper, 10 Brody Robertson
Substitutes: 15 Andy Taylor for Cooper 61, 12 Luke Mascall for Coleman 70, 14 Jack Richardson for Davis 73.
Substitutes not used: 16 Gary King, 17 Kieran Wressel
Manager: Marcus Newell
Yellow cards: Davis 19
South Shields: 1 Liam Connell; 12 Alex Nicholson, 5 Dillon Morse, 4 Jon Shaw, 3 Darren Lough; 19 Andrew Stephenson, 6 Julio Arca (capt), 8 Wayne Phillips; 9 Gavin Cogdon, 21 Carl Finnigan, 11 David Foley
Substitutes: 7 Robert Briggs for Stephenson 55, 10 Michael Richardson for Finnigan 70, 17 Barrie Smith for Phillips 83
Substitutes not used: 16 Louis Storey, 20 Darren Holden
Joint-managers: Graham Fenton and Lee Picton
Goals: Finnigan 43 (pen), Morse 80, Foley 86, 89
Yellow cards: Cogdon 69
Referee: Darren England