Saturday 28 January 2017, Newport Pagnell Town 3 Sunderland RCA 2 (aet) - FA Vase Round 5, Willen Road
The FA Vase final may be staged in London, but the real home of the Vase has become the North East of England with Northern League teams dominating the competition.
So the team from Sunderland and their supporters came south to Newport Pagnell with high hopes of helping keep the trophy in the north. The home club had never reached this far before and were hoping to make the most of their big day. The bar was packed, programmes sold and they even produced a glossy ticket.
The locals caught the cup bug and over 700 were in place (some never left the bar!) to see a fantastic cup game not that many expected the later excitement after the visitors dominated the first half and deserved their two goal lead. But the last few minutes of the first half when the home team, the 'Swans' had two good chances did indicate the match as a contest may not be over.
Sunderland started the second half like the first and only were stopped from extending their lead by two great saves by the home keeper. then the whole game changed, visitors made substitutions, game got scrappy and the ball was now spending most of the time in the Sunderland half as the home team now dominated. A goal was got back but would that be it?
96 minutes, home team at least had got one goal back but it seemed the visitors had held on then suddenly a glancing header and it was 2-2 and we were heading for extra time.
Then Newport Pagnell went ahead in extra time, possession was now shared but Sunderland RCA looked out on their feet and so the home club fans invaded the pitch as they now wait for the draw on Monday.
Great day out, two good clubs and the best game I have seen this season.