Hebburn Town won the FA Vase for the first time in their 109-year history as a late Olly Martin winner saw them come from behind to beat Consett in a pulsating all North-East final at Wembley.
Consett took the lead twice in the first half through Ali Alshebeeb and Dale Pearson. Their efforts were cancelled out by rapid equalisers for Town from Amar Purewal and Michael Richardson in a breathless first half of football.
Substitute Martin then struck the winner in 85th minute moments after entering the field of play much to the delight of the South Tyneside club.
Both sides were competing in their first Wembley final almost 600 days after their 2020 vase campaign started. The match was originally scheduled for September last year, however, due to concerns about the spread of Coronavirus it was rescheduled. As as result of the pandemic fans of both clubs were forced to watch the match at home.
Consett started the brighter of the two sides and the opener arrived when Alshabeeb broke into the Hornets area and rounded keeper Mark Foden before lofting the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle.
Hebburn rallied quickly and equalised when Purewal latched onto the end of a fine through ball from Michael McKeown to poke the ball home despite a strong challenge from twin brother Arjun in the Consett defence.
The first half then ended in frantic fashion. Consett once again restored their lead when Pearson latched on the end of a great cut back by Jermaine Metz from the right to restore their lead.
But once again Hebburn responded almost immediately. A marauding run by skipper Louis Storey forced a point blank save by Kyle Hayes, the ball returned to the feet of Storey who was able to pull the ball back to Richardson who side footed home to finish a breathless first half of football and send the two sides in level.
The second half was a much quitter affair with Graeme Armstrong and Pearson both missing good opportunities to take the lead for their respective sides.
The Hornets thought they had broken the deadlock in the 80th minute. Thomas Potter tapped the ball home from Darren Loughs left wing cross. However, the linesman ruled it out as the ball had gone out of play. Calvin Smith then blazed over the bar after sterling work from substitute Luke Carr on the Consett right as both searched for the winner.
Hebburn then made the breakthrough. Martin received the ball from Richardson in the area and slotted the ball underneath Hayes, sparking pandemonium on the pitch and amongst the Hornets traveling delegation high up in the Wembley stands.
The Hornets may return to defend their title in a matter of weeks, as they come up against Warrington Rylands in the FA Vase Quarter Finals on Saturday.
Line ups –
Consett AFC –
Hayes, Metz, Purewal ( C ), Wilkinson, Holden, Alshabeeb, Slocombe, Smith, Orrell, Pearson, Cornish.
Subs used –
Hebburn Town –
Foden, Groves, Lough, Spence, Storey ( C ), Carson, Potter, McKeown, Armstrong, Richardson, Purewal.
Subs used –