The annual trip to Wembley is starting to become a bit of a routine now. My mate arrives about 11am, we drive to Stanmore & spend an hour in the pub – This year the GBG recommended ‘Man in the moon’ & then head off to the game. Our original plan had been to park at Stanmore station & then catch a tube to Wembley Park. But the parking charge at Stanmore was a ridiculous £10 – Why do people always try to rip you off? So having local knowledge, we drove to Northwick Park where there is plenty of on street parking only a 2 minute walk from the station followed by a two stop trip on the tube.
A cooler day than the last couple of years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen as few people milling around outside the stadium. This time I did allow myself to be ripped off, buying a cheeseburger outside the ground at a staggeringly inflated price.
We bought our tickets from an empty ticket window and made our way inside the stadium. I don’t care about all the complaints about the pitch, I love this place and we had a great view looking along one of the goal lines. The crowd wasn’t great at just over 9000 with Wroxham having a particularly poor turn-out.
Nobody could ever have predicted the start as Whitley Bay scored within 21 seconds as the Wroxham keeper and centre half had a communication breakdown. Wroxham did equalise on 12 minutes but then promptly put through their own net 3 minutes later. Whitley Bay played some delightful stuff as Wroxham were either overwhelmed by nerves or just didn’t perform. Whitley Bay scored again just 50 seconds into the second half and then another 13 minutes later, the first of these an exquisite move and finish. Salt was rubbed into the wounds with two goals in the last two minutes as Wroxham’s will was broken.
Whitley Bay were worthy winners but I’m sure all neutrals hope that there will be different finalists next year – The last thing we want in the FA Vase is the Man U, Chelsea scenario.
Once again I thought back nostalgically at the end over my vase trail. This year there were several bus trips including a breakdown on a dark lay-by in Witney and like everyone else, I was severely hampered by dreadful weather. All part of it though & I look forward to the draw at the beginning of July.