Far from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, the FA Vase gives non league teams a chance of going to Wembley. The Quarter finals kick off next week and each team will stand just 3 games away from a place at Wembley.
Shortwood United of the Hellenic League, play host to Herne Bay of the Kent League. Both sides have never reached the Quarter final, Shortwood reaching the fifth round in 1982 being their best achievement in the Vase while Herne Bay also reached the fifth in 1997. Staveley MW of the North Counties East football league play host to St Ives Town (Cambridgeshire) of the United Counties football league. Both sides overcame comfortable home wins in order to progress to the quarter finals, Staveley beating Oadby Town 2-0 and St Ives defeating Gresley 4-0.
Two times Champion of the Northern League Dunston UTS travels to Peterborough to take on Peterborough North Star. The northern league outfit easily beat London club, Bethnal Green United to advance to the Quarter finals beating them 3-0 at Wellington Road. Peterborough Northern Star triumphed 2-0 away at West Midlands Regional League Premier Division Champions, Tividale FC. Cup magic was hand to help West Auckland town, the club most famous for winning the ‘World Cup’ or the Thomas Lipton trophy to be more specific, winning the trophy twice. Defeating Swiss side FC Winterthur 2-0 in 1909 tournament then famously beating Italian giants, Juventus 6-1 in 1911. In the Vase this season they defeated 5 times champions and 3 time champions in a row, Whitley Bay 2-1 at Whitley Bay.
The Vase showed its magic for everyone to see. The Northern League side now has to travel to Bournemouth to take on Bournemouth FC of the Wessex League. The Poppies needed a replay to settle the tie with Northern League club, Billingham drawing 0-0 at Central Avenue meaning a replay was in order. They managed to come from behind in the replay defeating Billingham 2-1 at Victoria Park. Algerian forward, Fawzi Saadi scoring the winning goal. The FA Vase is well and truly turning the heat up and each side will know there are only 3 games that separate them from the home of football. Forget the FA Cup it’s all about the Vase where Non League pride and passion is there for everyone to see.