Thatcham Town lifted the Buildbase FA Vase for the first time in their history as Shane Cooper-Clark’s 62nd goal of the season gave them a 1-0 win over Stockton Town at Wembley.
Cooper-Clark scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot with important defensive blocks from Baboucarr Jarra and Curtis Angell keeping them 1-0 ahead.
Gavin James hit the crossbar for Thatcham after the break with man of the match Jarra again putting his body on the line on 79 minutes to stop a goalbound Jamie Owens effort.
- Stockton Town 0-1 Thatcham Town
- Wembley Stadium
- Sunday 20 May 2018
- Non-League Finals Day
- By Andrew Lawton
Here’s the five things you may have missed from the Buildbase FA Vase Final:
Winning any cup final requires full commitment and Thatcham’s defence demonstrated that on numerous occasions.
On 20 minutes, Stockton’s Fred Woodhouse lobbed Thatcham goalkeeper Chris Rackley. A simple finish awaited Chris Stockton only for Jarra to get back across and snuff out the danger.
Another last-man block from Angell kept the game goalless seconds into the second half after another Stockton shot with Jarra repeating his earlier trick in the closing moments.
NO STOPPING COOPER-CLARK
Striker Shane Cooper-Clark had scored an incredible 61 goals this term, so it was almost inevitable when Thatcham Town were awarded a penalty on 23 minutes he’d put it away.
It wasn’t the Town striker’s most convincing penalty though as Stockton goalkeeper Michael Arthur went the right way and got a strong hand to it, but the ball still ended up in the back of the net.
Defender James Ward had slid in recklessly on Jordan Brown to concede the spot kick and Cooper-Clark took his tally to 62.
JAMES THE PERFECT PARTNER
While Cooper-Clark will grab plenty of headlines for his mammoth goal-scoring run, his strike partner Gavin James also influential throughout.
He linked up well with Cooper-Clark throughout and could have had a Wembley goal to celebrate himself on 65 minutes.
Cooper-Clark’s pull back found James perfectly but his left-footed strike cannoned into the crossbar and onto the goal line but crucially didn’t cross it.
A goal would have been the icing on the cake of another fine performance.
STOCKTON’S TIME WILL COME
It’s been quite a journey for The Anchors as they made the final of the Buildbase FA Trophy for the first time in just their second ever appearance in the competition.
Their journey to Wembley started with a 4-3 AET win over Consett way back in the second round qualifying.
Stockton won the league four times before securing a new home at Bishopton Road West and being able to be promoted and they’ll be optimistic of more success after a brave and battling display at Wembley.
LONG WAIT OVER FOR KINGFISHERS
Thatcham Town has been in existence for 124 years, but this was their first time at Wembley in the final of the Buildbase FA Vase.
And they made it count, the team lifted the trophy to cap an incredible season which has seen them top the Hellenic League on goal difference and enjoy a 40-match unbeaten run.
They’ll enter next season, in the Southern League West, on a real high after lifting the trophy at Wembley.