Sunday, 22 May 2016

Non-League Finals Day: Morpeth Town beat Hereford FC in FA Vase final

Morpeth Town upset the odds by beating Hereford FC 4-1 at Wembley to become the seventh Northern League side to win the FA Vase in eight years.

The reformed Bulls were 1-0 up inside a minute-and-a-half after a stunning low shot from long-serving Rob Purdie.

But 45-year-old Chris Swailes bundled in an equaliser right on half-time.

And, after Luke Carr scored from close range, further goals from Sean Taylor and Shaun Bell earned Morpeth their first FA Vase triumph.

The Bulls, roared on by more than 20,000 travelling fans, dominated the first half, but Morpeth were a much improved side after the break.

And, in the end, they deservedly maintained the Northern League's recent stranglehold on this competition. which began with Whitley Bay's triumph in 2008-09,
No fourth trophy for Bulls

In their first season in their new existence, following the demise of wound-up Hereford United in December 2014, Peter Beadle's Bulls had already won three trophies this season - notably winning the Midland League at their first attempt.

Hereford had three players on show - Purdie, Ryan Green and skipper Joel Edwards - who also used to play for the Bulls in their Hereford United days.

After hitting the bar and wasting a string of other first-half chances, the game turned on Swailes' leveller when he chested home following a goalkeeping error.

That earned the veteran former Ipswich, Bury and Rotherham defender his third winner's medal, having won the competition in 1993 with Bridlington Town and in 2012, with another north-east side, Dunston.

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