Reaction to Morpeth Town victory in FA Vase
Morpeth Town went through to the final of the FA Vase in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon.
Luke Carr scored the winner in injury time at Craik Park to make it 2-1 on the day and 4-3 on aggregate against Bowers and Pitsea of Essex.
The majority of the 1,256 in attendance were jubilant and some of the Morpeth fans ran onto the pitch when the full -ime whistle was blown to greet their heroes.
Sean Taylor put the home side in front after three minutes, but Morpeth missed chances to go further ahead and the visitors equalised with a goal from Lewis Manor seven minutes before half-time.
It was a tense second half and even though Bowers and Pitsea’s Ross Adams was sent off in the closing stages, both sides had chances to win the game.
In the end, Carr turned home a Keith Graydon free kick and it was party time a few minutes later.
Morpeth will now play Hereford FC in the final of the FA Vase on Sunday, May 22, at Wembley – the national football stadium.
After the game, Morpeth manager Nick Gray said: “We left it late, but over the two games we definitely deserved to go through.
“We kept our discipline and they lost theirs a little bit, which proved crucial in the end.
“We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Ken Beattie and he deserves this success for what he has done for this club.
“The players have been fantastic this season and it’s a great reward for them as they get to show what they can do at Wembley.”
Among those in attendance on Saturday was Tony McLaughlin. He played for Morpeth Town in the 1960s and it was his 79th birthday on the day of the game.
He said: “Morpeth played very well and it was a wonderful moment when they got the winner in injury time – what a great way to get to Wembley.
“I’m already looking forward to the final on May 22, which will be a great day for the club.”
One of the club’s regular fans, Rob Dent, said: “I went down to Essex for the first leg and I felt a mix of joy and relief at full-time because we were the better team in both games.
“The second half was the longest 45-plus minutes of my life.
“I was over the moon when Carr scored the winner and I was pleased for him as he put in an excellent performance. I can’t wait to go to Wembley.”
Graham Hedley said: “It’s amazing that Morpeth will play in the final of such a prestigious national tournament. It will be a wonderful occasion for the club and its fans.”
Morpeth Sporting Club runs more than 20 junior football teams and dozens of youngsters from the club cheered on Town during the game.
Club secretary Paul Barwick said: “Morpeth were by far the better team and we’re absolutely delighted that they won through to play at Wembley. The players did the town proud.”