Dunston (h) FA Vase 3rd round
|Reading the papers: |
The FA Vase is a competition for the minnows and as such is our chance to shine. Last season's run was disappointing in that we lost in the third round - again to Dunston. Maybe we had come to expect too much after those three Wembley wins but it was hard to keep your feet on the ground after those giddy days. How many supporters could claim to have won the ultimate prize in their calendar three times in a row? Having only begun watching the Bay the season of the first success in 2009, I had not seen them win the Northern League in 1991, however for me a cup final at Wembley would outweigh any league success - no matter how much harder it may have been to achieve. The last few years the Bay hadn't lived up to the heights of 2009-2011. A 2-1 5th round defeat in sad circumstances to West Auckland in 2012 will be remembered for a terrible tackle that threatened to end a young player's career while a shock away defeat to Brantham Athletic the following season in the 4th round ended our hopes in 2013. That was followed by last season's 3rd round defeat to Dunston. A match that had ended a a great run of six wins on the trot for the Bay and also featured the return of Bay favourite Chris Moore to the team. From a Bay perspective there had been nothing left to shout about and the let-down of the season. (Conveniently forgetting a disastrous trip to St James Park for a League Cup final defeat to Marske). Today I had convinced myself was payback time! I was up for it...were the players?
The crowd of just over 400 was slightly disappointing considering the match's billing as the tie of the round but then we were up against some other game being played in the big toon.
"If God meant game to be played up there
He would've put goal posts in the air
If God meant game to be played up high
He would've built pitches in the sky."
What we needed was a Nigel Clough and our Nigel Clough was Paul Robinson, however he didn't come up with the goods having not played in the previous three games due to a three match ban.
|The worried hands of fate!|
We were resigned to defeat and then Watling raced into the box and the slow motion ref (who seemed to take his time to blow his whistle all afternoon) awarded us a penalty...were the hands of fate turning?
|The unhappy wander to the car...all passing in a blur!|
...we faced defeat like men...not!