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Glossop North End make FA Vase final despite 1-0 defeat to St Austell

Glossop North End players celebrate. Pic by Jim Lockwood.
Glossop North End players celebrate. Pic by Jim Lockwood.

Glossop North End moved in to the FA Vase final despite a 1-0 defeat at home to St Austell.

The Hillmen progressed 2-1 on aggregate for their second final in just six years.

Five of that 2009 squad played in this semi-final, and they needed to draw on all that experience to see this game through, as they were forced to play 95 per cent of the game with only 10 men.

Matt Russell went into a tackle by the dugouts and was red carded by referee Darren Bond.

This turned out to be the game’s major talking point, as it defined how the remainder of the game would pan out.

Glossop would rely on sturdiness in defence and strong midfield to suffocate any St Austell attacks, whilst Jason Carey and latterly Sam Hind, would run themselves ragged up front.

In truth, the sending off ruined any chance of the game being a spectacle, not that St Austell were worried about that given their man advantage.

However, for the most part the North End plan worked.

Although playing much better than the week before, thanks in part to the return from injury of Christian Pople, St Austell didn’t create a chance of note in the first half whilst the Hillmen forced a number of corners, Carey heading over from the third of triple flag kicks.

Tom Bailey came oh so close when a clearance landed at his feet, but his shot from 12 yards struck the base of the post and went wide.

The second half followed the same pattern, with St Austell simply unable to get into the Glossop penalty area, marshalled superbly by Dave Young, Kelvin Lugsden, Michael Bowler and emergency left-back Lee Blackshaw. In front of them, the tireless running of the midfield broke up much of the St Austell probings before they got close.

Meanwhile Kieran Lugsden put a snapshot just over the bar, then Carey got behind the full back, but under pressure, sprinting and the narrowing angle forced him into a shot into the side netting. Then Captain Young tried an audacious shot from his own half, spotting the keeper off his line and using the wind. The ball was dropping goalwards, but Chapman just got one hand to it to knock the ball off course.

As the time ticked on GNE still did not look like conceding.

Only when Greg Hall made a hash of a drag back did they look in trouble, but that chance was harried away by the back line, and Hall made amends seconds later when a terrific cross came from the left and Hall dived full length to spectacularly pluck it out of the air.

hey negotiated the last ten minutes of normal time reasonably comfortably, despite biblical rain that scattered the supporters under the already packed stands. However, just as the board went up to show four minutes of injury time, St Austell did strike.

Liam Eddy, who had 39 goals coming into the game, made it 40 when he finally found some respite from the tireless attentions of Lugsden and Young.

Picking up the ball in the box, right of the goal, he controlled and shot across Hall into the far corner.

The rain got heavier and heavier, and had St Austell scored again, it is almost certain extra time could not have been played.

However that particular headache for the FA was ruled out by more stout defence from the Hillmen as they sealed their passage to the national stadium.