Today I went to Hillheads Park for the second leg of the FA Vase in which Whitley Bay were at home again Barwell. Last week the first leg finished 3-3 after Whitley came back from being 3-1 down to pull out a draw. Just over 2,700 turned out to support Whitley today with quite a few supporters travelling up from Barwell.
With being the current holders of the FA Vase you could not count Whitley out for another trip to Wembley, which they have seemed to make hard work out if in the end. As Barwell went down to 10 men just before the end of the first half. They made life very difficult for Whitley in the second half, often it was not evident that they only had 10 men.
The game started extremely quickly with Barwell scoring for kick off in about 20 seconds, which looked like the worst possible start for Whitley. But they kept working hard and got themselves straight back into the game after about 6 minutes with a goal from the spot. Whitley took the lead in about the 14th minute with a brilliant finish.
Half team Whitley went in 2-1 up.
Coming out for the second half against 10 men I think the crowd really expected Whitley to add to their goal tally, but that was not meant to be and did not happen. Barwell really put in a fantastic performance with 10 men and really not giving up. They had a few good chances and had a goal disallowed for offside. As Whitley had a penalty in the first half, Barwell got one in the second, and put it away to tie the game again at 2-2.
As it was announced that 4 minutes of added time would be all that was left before extra time, Whitley had an attacking move which saw a cross come in from the right hand side and the left winger hold his run and be able to slot the ball away with the crowd myself included cheering.
There wasnt enough time for Barwell to get back into the game again after that goal. The final whistle saw all of the children run onto the pitch to celebrate with the players, another trip to Wembley for Whitley Bay!