Non League Finals Day 2017 – Shields and Minstermen take honours in Non League Footballs big finale at Wembley

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Updated: May 22, 2017
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So possibly my last UK football for the season came at the National Stadium, Wembley, for Non League Finals Day. It saw two games on show, Cleethorpes Town Vs South Shields the the FA Vase Final, and then Macclesfield Town Vs York City in the FA Trophy Final.

First up was the FA Vase final at Lunchtime and it saw North East Counties League champions Cleethorpes Town take on Northern League Champions South Shields although The Mariners from near Newcastle/Sunderland went into the game as favourites as do most Northern League sides.

They were going for a quadruple of trophies this season too in what has been an unbelivable year for the North East side. On the other side you had Cleethorpes who were only formed 19 years ago so their rise to this day was a good story, and they had won their league too scoring 138 goals in the process so they were no mugs, thats for sure. Anyway here is a summary of that game:-

Cleethorpes Town 0 South Shields 4
A clinical South Shields defeated a plucky and battling Cleethorpes Town to end a wonderful season in style and win the FA Vase at Wembley. The opening quarter hour saw Shields take the game to their opponents and probably felt they should of taken one of their chances they created however Cleethorpes managed to hold on and as they game reached the half hour mark Cleethorpes did have a couple of openings however the Mariners were still looking the more likely to score. And three minutes before half time they were given a golden chance to take a deserved lead when Gavin Cogdon was brought down inside the box, and Carl Finnigan duly sent the keeper the wrong way to give them the lead. Cogdon then saw an effort tipped onto the post late in the half as Shields so nearly doubled their lead before half time but they did go into the break good value for their lead, although it was only a one goal lead.
Half Time Cleethorpes Town 0 South Shields 1
Shields continued their dominance in the early exchanges of the second period and saw them see an effort from David Foley tipped onto the bar early in the half as they were again looking more likely to get the next goal. But while it was only 1-0 Cleethorpes knew one moment could see them back on level terms and they again had their moments but saw the Shields back line deal with whatever came their way. Shields though continued to pass up several chances, that was until ten minutes from time when a free kick swung in saw Dillon Morse head home at the back post before the Mariners added two more late on, making it three with four minutes left when Foley slotted beyond the keeper after finding himself clean through, and then they made it four with a minute remaining when Foley got his second by thumping a wonderful effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the box and seal a terrific win to take the FA Vase.
Full Time Cleethorpes Town 0 South Shields 4
Here are some photos of the Vase final:-

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So that was Part One of the Non League Finals Day done and dusted, now for Part Two, the FA Trophy final between Macclesfield Town and York City. The Silkmen finished ninth in the National League although way off a play off spot whilst York City suffered relegation on the final day of the season so will play in the National North next season.
So on league positions you would have fancied Macclesfield Town however York City would of no doubt wanted to end a difficult season on a high so no doubt it would of been a good battle on the famous Wembley turf. However we were about to to witness one of the greatest Trophy finals, here we go:-

Macclesfield Town 2 York City 3

A late goal from Aidan Connolly goal saw York City win a pulsating final against Macclesfield Town at Wembley and end a difficult season with a Trophy. The Cheshire side immediately put the Minstermen under serious pressure in the first six minutes however York then took the lead with their first attack of the game in the 7th minute when a free kick saw John Parkin glance home a header into the bottom corner. Macclesfield regathered themselves though and found a leveller just six minutes later when after a corner saw a poor headed clearance fall to Rhys Browne, he managed to fire an effort home between the keepers legs and it was all square. However with their second attack of the game York restored their lead midway through the half when a cross to the back post saw Vadaine Oliver stretch out a leg to convert into the net. Macclesfield though continued to have the better of the game despite finding themselves behind but just as it looked as though York would take a slender lead into the break the Silkmen found a leveller in first half stoppage time, and what a goal it was, as Ollie Norburn rifled an unstoppable effort from way out into the net and the sides went into the break all square. It had been one of the best halves of football I’ve seen for sometime, breathtaking.
Macclesfield Town 2 York City 2
Everyone had just about recovered from that incredible half when the second period began, although it unsurprisingly started a little quieter than the first half had. And after an hour the score remained 2-2 although it was still an exciting contest, with the Silkmen just on top still. Macclesfield continued to carve out chances but found York keeper Kyle Letheren, who had returned to the starting line up for this final, in inspired form, to frustrate the Cheshire outfit. As the game entered its final stages you wondered if anyone could find a winner, and although Macclesfield looked likelier to find one, the longer they didn’t the more you thought York would have one more chance and win this contest, and sure enough with four minutes left the Minstermen found that winner, as John Parkin’s effort bounced towards goal and saw Connolly poke over the line and send the Red Quarter of Wembley wild. York managed to see out the remaining few minutes and take a welcome win after what has been a largely difficult campaign. Macclesfield will wonder how they lost this one but York dug in and gave themselves a chance, which they took.
Macclesfield Town 2 York City 3
Here are some photos of the Trophy final:-

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So a thoroughly enjoyable day came to an end. Well done to South Shields and York City on their cup wins and also well played and comiserations to Cleethorpes Town and Macclesfield Town for playing their part too. And with an overall attendance of 38,224 it was a decent turn out for a second season running. Here’s to next years Non League Finals Day!!!

For all things ESL visit my unofficial page at http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl
To read my blogs of local footie action visit pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.co.uk
Also find me on twitter @ped1980

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