TRIUMPHANT Whitley Bay fans celebrated their team’s historic cup win at Wembley yesterday.
The Seahorses lifted the FA Vase for the third consecutive time at the iconic stadium to a glorious roar of cheers from the thousands of supporters who descended on the capital to watch them take on Leicestershire side Coalville Town. After a nail-biting match prolific Paul Chow scored a late winner in a nailbiting 3-2 win.
It was the fourth time the North Tyneside team had lifted the trophy, victory in 2002 proving an hors d’oeuvres to main course that has seen them add yesterday’s victory to those of 2009 and last year.
The enthusiastic crowd kept spirits at the stadium up in the early stages of the match when Whitley Bay came under pressure.
One fan who witnessed the record-breaking victory was Chris Petherbridge, of Cullercoats, North Tyneside, who said the atmosphere at the stadium couldn’t have been better.
The 20-year-old Northumbria University history student said: “I didn’t know what to expect before the game, to be honest, and during the first 20 minutes they were all over the place. But as it picked up there was a really really good atmosphere, especially when the last goal went in.
“The highlights were when that third goal went in and when the final whistle went and seeing them lift the cup. It wasn’t a great game but just to be there was absolutely brilliant.”
Chris, who travelled down with his dad and two younger brothers on one of the coaches put on by the club, didn’t think he would be able to go to the game until just a few days ago.
“The first few times Whitley were down at Wembley I was always doing exams and I thought I couldn’t go this year because of exams, but I managed to get a ticket sorted last minute during the week,” he said.
He added: “It was my first time going to Wembley and it was brilliant being able to see it. You don’t realise just how impressive it is until you get inside.”
The Seahorses booked their place in the final after they knocked out Poole Town in the semi-final.
Yesterday’s win means that they have become the first team ever to win the Vase three years running.
And two of their goalscorers should be especially pleased with themselves as Paul Chow and Lee Kerr have both played vital roles in the last three victories as they scored in all the Seahorses’ wins.