North Shields 4 Phoenix Sports 1
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Match & Day Enjoyment : 10/10
"Hoo ye gannin" ? (how are you ? to you and me !) was the typical warm Geordie welcome I was given upon arrival in Toon (Town) by good friend 'Big Gerry' , ready for today's big FA vase 5th Round game only a few games from Wembley. Whey aye, man (thats ok , thats right !) he carried on whilst pulling up his Breeks (trousers). I had only been in Geordie Land a few minutes and was feeling at home already.
Today's opponents were Phoenix Sports from 280 miles away in South East London. Who themselves were riding high and still undefeated in their league this season. It was always going to be a decent tie and so it proved. I love these North v South Vase matches as they seem to have extra intrigue.
In 1908, North Shields Athletic joined the North Eastern League. After the First World War, the club continued playing in that league, but the name was changed to Preston Colliery in 1918. The name was changed again, this time to North Shields, in 1928. Their record attendance was 12,800 for the local derby with South Shields in 1936. After the Second World War, the club had increasing success in amateur football, culminating in 1969 with winning the FA Amateur Cup by beating Sutton United at Wembley Stadium and becoming joint winners of the European Amateur Cup. It is said that the attendence that day was near 100,000. The Wembley matchday programme even described Appleby Park as one of the finest grounds in amateur football – praise indeed.
Todays venue locally known as “The Morgue” was far from quiet as over a thousand Geordies packed the place out to cheer North Shields to victory. The Reds took and early lead with a delicious curling free-kick which the Phoenix keeper didnt even move for. When they scored a second before half-time they had a firm grip on the match and eventually ran out 4-1 winners.
Phoenix were just second best on the day and have done excellent so far this season. But it could be fair to say they hadn't met a team of North Shields' calibre in their own league.
|'Jumping for Joy' - Shields score a 4th goal to secure victory|
But today was not Phoenix's day but dont worry as they will rise again . I would imagine the return 280 mile journey felt long.
So Shields march on and based on today's evidence it will take a strong side to stop them from reaching Wembley , just like their predecessors did all those years ago.
Today was a brilliant day in every respect and one I shall remember for a long time.