FA VASE 2013/2014
FA VASE 2013/2014
Sholing boss pledges to 'paint the town red' after Vase win
Sholing manager Dave Diaper pledged to 'paint the town red' after his side created history by booking their first appearance at Wembley. Diaper's team sealed a 4-2 victory over Eastbourne United in The FA Carlsberg Vase Semi-Final to set-up a trip to The Final on 10 May. His side stormed into a 3-0 lead after 41 minutes at Eastbourne's Oval ground after the two sides drew 2-2 in the first leg in Southampton.
Eastbourne United 2-4 Sholing FC
The FA Carlsberg Vase
The home side fought doggedly and reduced the deficit to just one goal to set up a tense final 20 minutes but Nick Watts calmed Sholing's nerves by making it 6-4 on aggregate with three minutes left.
The Sholing boss, who has been at the club for 14 years, confessed he was a little emotional with the players at the final whistle. He said: "To be able to grace the great pitch of Wembley is unbelievable. The opportunity to be at Wembley for a Final and work in the technical area is something these players could only dream of before." Diaper believes his side have brought pride to Southampton, where the club are based. He added: "We bleed red and white whilst Southampton are in the Premier League and wear red and white. The whole area has been so supportive of us. "We'll be painting the town red, I am just so pleased for the club." The manager refused to pick any standout players and explained it was the team's performance which deserves the most credit.
Diaper continued: "Before the game I said to the players if we are going out let's go out all guns blazing and with a fight. "The team effort was tremendous. We don't tend to do things the easy way and we must give credit to Eastbourne for the way they came back at us." Although there is still the matter of league matches and The FA Vase Final, Diaper insisted now is the time for celebration. "I'm 59 years of age and I used to be out until 4am when these players were much, much younger. "I think I'll try to restrain myself a bit more now but we will still celebrate our achievement."
Sholing will face West Auckland Town in The Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 10 May.
West Auckland win is 'the best feeling in the world'West Auckland Town manager Peter Dixon called his side's progress to The FA Carlsberg Vase final "the best feeling in the world". Dixon's side beat St Andrews after coming from a goal down thanks to a Steven Richardson quick-fire double. The County Durham club reached The Final in 2012 but lost to Dunston UTS at Wembley and the boss wants to make amends this year against Sholing FC.
St Andrews 1-2 West Auckland
The FA Carlsberg Vase
Dixon said: "I'll tell the players to enjoy and savour every single second of it. It is an amazing achievement to make it to Wembley twice in three years. "I'm excited for The Final. The last time we made it I didn't know what to expect and the occasion felt so surreal. But now I do know and it is one of the best feelings in the world." West Auckland's boss explained his team have won the football lottery twice and will make sure he enjoys the experience more than last time. Two years ago Dixon lost 2-0 to Northern League rivals Dunston and feared history was repeating itself in Saturday's Semi-Final.
Steven Richardson celebrates for West Auckland
In the 2012 Final captain Mattie Moffat played with a fractured cheekbone in the defeat. Against St Andrews he had to be substituted off due to injury midway through the first half. Things went from bad to worse when West Auckland went behind to a stunning volley by England schoolboy Brady Hickey on 63 minutes.But Steven Richardson, who was substituted on for the injured Moffat, became the hero with two goals in eight minutes to give his club a second shot at Wembley. "I thought it was all happening again with our player injured and us losing," he said. "But we are comeback specialists and sometimes we need someone to hit us in the face to get us going and that is what happened today. "Huge credit to Steven Richardson – sometimes he has been in and out of the team but he played his part today coming on for Moffat and scoring the goals." Dixon also gave admiration to St Andrews and empathised with his beaten opponents. He continued: "I made sure I shook every players' hand because as much as I enjoyed myself half of my mind was with them. "I know what it is like because I've been in their situation. I've lost an even bigger game than today because of The Final at Wembley two years ago."