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Monday, June 08, 2009

Whitley Bay 2 Glossop North End 0

The end of another long Vase campaign. For one reason or another, my travels came to a stuttering conclusion and a mixture of the weather & circumstances made this one of my less memorable Vase years. I still have fond memories of great fish & chips at London APSA, bustling committee members at Faversham, an enjoyable reserve match at Bitton, the biting cold in Long Eaton, two contrasting matches at Chalfont and a great new stadium in Biggleswade.

For the second year running, the weather was more than kind to us and it was shirt sleeve weather as I polished up my best Northern accent for Whitley Bay against Glossop.

I went to the game with a friend and we had decided to drive to Stanmore and catch the tube from there as parking anywhere near Wembley stadium is a nightmare. Thanks once again to London Transport’s seemingly never ending maintenance, there was only a bus replacement service from Stanmore. Quick thinking and a 10 year old map helped us find our way to Northwick Park, just 2 stops from Wembley on a different tube line. I used to live not far from here when I was a kid and hadn’t bee there for about 25 years. It’s surprising how little it had changed and I had a huge wave of nostalgia as I sat on the station remembering all the shots which I’d sent sailing over the bar at Northwick Park playing fields.

Once again we spent half an hour sitting near the fountains, drinking bear and eating chips. Strangely, the beer was a pound cheaper than last year and you got twice as much. The chips were also reasonably priced and were cooked in clean oil. Prices inside the stadium as still as outrageously overpriced as before and I therefore didn’t buy anything there – when will they learn?

Having looked round the rather good Wembley stadium shop, we tossed a coin and brought tickets for the Whitley Bay end. We were allocated seats behind the goal which gave us a great view and the Northern humour was in fine form from all the fans around us. I good sized crowd enjoyed an entertaining match.

Glossop started strongly and had chances to score. Whitley Bay held on and two fine pieces of skill and neat finishes gave Whitley Bay a lead that they never relinquished despite strong pressure in the last 10 minutes.

All in all, I think the best team won this years tournament and I look forward to the draw in early July so that we can start all over again.

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