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Somerset FA Senior Cup semi finals....

The only Weekly Magazine Dedicated to Women’s & Girls Football Bradley Stoke
The only Weekly Magazine Dedicated to Women’s & Girls Football Somerset FA Cups
FA Competitions Almondsbury (white/green) v Clevedon Town (yellow)  09-09-2017

Thatcham book their dream

date at Wembley

Buildbase FA Vase - Semi Final (2nd Leg)

The last Hellenic League side to appear in an FA Vase final was Didcot Town in 2005, beating AFC Sudbury 3-2 at White Hart Lane. Thirteen years later the Hellenic League can be proud of Thatcham Town who take their place in the national final at Wembley Stadium winning the semi final at 1874 Northwich 3-2 (4-2 on aggregate). In front of crowd of 1693 at the St Luke's Barton Stadium Gavin James 2 and Shane Cooper-Clark scored the goals to take them to Wembley Stadium on Sunday 20 May to face Stockton Town in the 2017 Buildbase FA Vase Final.

The loyal Kingfisher fans travelled in number to Cheshire for this away leg of the FA Vase Semi-Final. Like last week, things couldn't have got off to a better start with Gavin James, in for last week's match winner Ross Cook (hamstring), opening the scoring after three minutes. James earned a direct free-kick from 20 yards, which Shane Cooper-Clark hit onto the wall. The loose ball fell kindly for James who made no mistake in slotting into the bottom corner.

Thatcham were in the hunt and making a real nuisance of themselves with a high pressing game that didn't let the home side's defence play their usual possession game from the back. Central defenders Tom Moran and Babs Jarra had to be on their game to keep in check the dangerous number 9 Scott McGowan, who won the first corner of the game but it came to nothing.

It took 23 minutes for Thatcham to double their lead, with James getting on the end of a goalmouth scramble following a Tom Melledew corner. James' first attempt was parried but he made sure with the follow up. This goal sent the Blue Army into the ascendency with a period of supreme pressure, as they didn't let 1874 breathe. First James rose highest to knock a header into the path of Ekow Elliott whose right footed curler went just over the bar.

Soon after, Moran met an in-swinging corner but his headed effort went just wide. Just a minute later, James latched onto a through ball to close in on goal and goalkeeper Greg Hall did well to get a touch as the Thatcham number 10 attempted to round him.

With the away side dominating, Northwich did well to get back into the game and stem the tide of their attacks. They pushed up and camped in the final third for several minutes but failed to trouble Chris Rackley until the stroke of half time when, after the stopper made an expert save, Curtis Angell was first to successfully challenge a Northwich attacker on the rebound, before Ekow Elliott claimed the loose ball in a 50/50 challenge. The referee seemed happy enough until he noticed the linesman's flag and controversially awarded a spot kick. 1874's Scott McGowan wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth and duly netted the penalty. James' hunt for a hat-trick saw another disappointment as, after Elliott threaded a neat through ball, his left footed effort went wide and into the side netting.

The half-time whistle came at a good time for Thatcham with 1874 winning a series of corners, and manager Danny Robinson's team talk must have had an impact as, for the third half of this semi-final tie, the Kingfishers got a goal after three minutes. Cooper-Clark, outstanding in both legs, received the ball on the left flank, travelled inside and thumped a shot into the net from the edge of the area.

Unsurprisingly, the home side came at the visitors who were content to stay compact and soak up the pressure, with Rackley making a good save from point blank after a goalmouth scramble. Michael Miller, unfazed by the occasion, calmly took a touch before clearing the ball up field. Rackley was called upon again moments later as he smartly rushed out to snuff out the danger of a direct run from deep after a Thatcham corner was intercepted.

McGowan was posing a threat and wriggled his way past the usually robust Moran and into the area, with Jarra coming across to slide in and put the ball behind for a corner. The home side's pressure told as their captain Matt Woolley rose to head home an inch perfect corner to move one goal behind on the day, and two on aggregate.

It is testament to Thatcham's discipline and organisation that they held firm and did not succumb to the pressures of either the occasion or 1874's attacking play, as wave after wave of attack was blocked, cleared or held by messrs Rackley, Miller, Jarra, Moran and Angell, until, eventually after 6 minutes of injury time, the referee blew the full time whistle. The players and coaching staff rushed to celebrate with the vocal travelling support who could now relax into singing "Que Sera Sera" in full voice.

Thatcham's fairytale season shows no sign of letting up, with the promise of a Wembley final waiting on Sunday 20 May where they will face Northern League Division One Stockton Town.

attempt was parried but he made sure with the follow up. This goal sent the Blue Army into the ascendency with a period of supreme pressure, as they didn't let 1874 breathe. First James rose highest to knock a header into the path of Ekow Elliott whose right footed curler went just over the bar.

Soon after, Moran met an in-swinging corner but his headed effort went just wide. Just a minute later, James latched onto a through ball to close in on goal and goalkeeper Greg Hall did well to get a touch as the Thatcham number 10 attempted to round him.

With the away side dominating, Northwich did well to get back into the game and stem the tide of their attacks. They pushed up and camped in the final third for several minutes but failed to trouble Chris Rackley until the stroke of half time when, after the stopper made an expert save, Curtis Angell was first to successfully challenge a Northwich attacker on the rebound, before Ekow Elliott claimed the loose ball in a 50/50 challenge. The referee seemed happy enough until he noticed the linesman's flag and controversially awarded a spot kick. 1874's Scott McGowan wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth and duly netted the penalty. James' hunt for a hat-trick saw another disappointment as, after Elliott threaded a neat through ball, his left footed effort went wide and into the side netting.

The half-time whistle came at a good time for Thatcham with 1874 winning a series of corners, and manager Danny Robinson's team talk must have had an impact as, for the third half of this semi-final tie, the Kingfishers got a goal after three minutes. Cooper-Clark, outstanding in both legs, received the ball on the left flank, travelled inside and thumped a shot into the net from the edge of the area.

Unsurprisingly, the home side came at the visitors who were content to stay compact and soak up the pressure, with Rackley making a good save from point blank after a goalmouth scramble. Michael Miller, unfazed by the occasion, calmly took a touch before clearing the ball up field. Rackley was called upon again moments later as he smartly rushed out to snuff out the danger of a direct run from deep after a Thatcham corner was intercepted.

McGowan was posing a threat and wriggled his way past the usually robust Moran and into the area, with Jarra coming across to slide in and put the ball behind for a corner. The home side's pressure told as their captain Matt Woolley rose to head home an inch perfect corner to move one goal behind on the day, and two on aggregate.

It is testament to Thatcham's discipline and organisation that they held firm and did not succumb to the pressures of either the occasion or 1874's attacking play, as wave after wave of attack was blocked, cleared or held by messrs Rackley, Miller, Jarra, Moran and Angell, until, eventually after 6 minutes of injury time, the referee blew the full time whistle. The players and coaching staff rushed to celebrate with the vocal travelling support who could now relax into singing "Que Sera Sera" in full voice.

Thatcham's fairytale season shows no sign of letting up, with the promise of a Wembley final waiting on Sunday 20 May where they will face Northern League Division One Stockton Town.