THE FA VASE
Coleshill travel to Derbyshire on 16th November to play Long Eaton United in the second round of the FA Vase but what’s at stake, how hard is it going to be, and is “history” on our side?
What’s at stake? Well prestige for starters! The FA Vase is a national competition for non-league football clubs up to Level 5 on the pyramid system, that’s us, Midland Alliance, we won’t meet anyone in this competition at a higher level! From the next level up, through to Conference (The Skrill Premier), it’s the FA Trophy but the Final for all FA competitions are at Wembley! It happens to other teams, why not us? Is this our year? Then there’s the money! A run in a FA competition can set up a club like ours for years! The prize money is better in the FA Cup, unfortunately we went out at the first hurdle, but we have already beat Malvern Town, Nuneaton Griff and Racing Club Warwick so the club’s coffers have been filled (a little) and another win would come in handy, losing team gets no prize money just half the profits from the game! But the main benefit is momentum! Coleshill are on a good run, undefeated in seven games, 21 goals in five games and 7th in the league. Big games coming up not only in the Vase but also the League Cup, the Birmingham Senior Cup as well as the league. Building momentum builds confidence, gets you noticed, more publicity, and hopefully more supporters start looking for your results! It’s all good news!
How hard is it going to be? We need to look at the opposition to answer that! Long Eaton United are in the Northern Counties East League, also Level 5, and currently lie in 18th position with five wins from their 11 games so far! In the Vase they have beaten Ellistown & Ibstock United (Level 6) after a replay and Boston Town (Level 5) to get to this stage. In the FA Cup they narrowly lost out to Coalville Town 3-2 who are a Level 4 side. Long Eaton have a much better record than Coleshill in the Vase having reached the second round eight times and the third round twice. Over the years they have come across quite a few Midland Alliance sides and have beaten Bridgnorth, Alvechurch, Boldmere, Westfields and Heather St Johns but have also lost to Rocester and Causeway. The two sides are probably evenly matched but Coleshill’s current form is better!
Is “History” on our side? Coleshill have a poor record in the Vase having lost at the first hurdle the last three seasons to lower league opposition in Stafford Town, Pelsall Villa and Pilkington XXX but they have reached this stage three times before. In 1976 they went out in round 2 to Hinckley Athletic, in 2005 they lost out to Ford Sports Daventry but in 2007 they progressed to the third round for the only time in their history. That season Town beat Bolehall Swifts after a replay, then travelled to Leek CSOB on a Friday night and won 2-0. In the 2nd round they travelled to Barwell who were a league above them and against the odds won 3-1. Lincolnshire side Blackstones, another side from a level above, then came to Pack Meadow and unfortunately progressed thanks to two penalties. Coleshill held their own for most of the game and scored through Josh McPherson (who played for Heather last week) but the fairy tale was over in a narrow 2-1 defeat for Coleshill.
So, in summary, Coleshill will have to be at their best to beat Long Eaton but if they do they will have matched their best ever run in the Vase, and one more win after that and we are new territory! Good luck Colemen!
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