Rocking Robins heading to Wembley in FA Vase final

North Shields will be bob bob bobbing along to Wembley after booking their spot in the final of the FA Vase.

The Robins were looking to hold onto their 1-0 advantage from the first leg of their semi final against Highworth Town and book their place at Wembley for the first time in 46 years.

North Shields hotshot Gareth Bainbridge fires his side ahead against Highworth Town in the FA Vase semi final second leg. Picture by Ian Warde.

North Shields hotshot Gareth Bainbridge fires his side ahead against Highworth Town in the FA Vase semi final second leg. Picture by Ian Warde.

More than 1,000 people packed into the Daren Persson Stadium on Saturday for the sell-out game, although both sides struggled to adapt to the wind in the first half.

North Shields had the better of the chances in the first half with the wind behind them but after the break Highworth fought to find a way back into the tie.

Bradley Clarke and John Davoile both fired just off target before Robins keeper Michael Robinson could only watch as a free-kick cannoned off his crossbar.

Despite some nervy moments and a few scares, Shields fans were able to dream of a trip to the home of English football when the prolific Gareth Bainbridge broke the deadlock 15 minutes from time.

Ben Richardson’s corner was helped on by John Parker, with Bainbridge curling a shot home.

And first leg goalscorer Dean Holmes made doubly sure of the win with a second goal 13 minutes from time to book a trip to the capital, tapping the ball home after substitute Ryan Carr’s effort had been parried by the keeper.

As the final whistle blew, fans bounded onto the field to celebrate with their heroes.

Among those packed into the ground were five of Frank Brennan’s braves – 1969 skipper Ron Tatum, supersub Tommy Orrick, Ray Wrightson, Bob Wake and John Twaddle.

Those from the 1969 side who were unable to attend have vowed to cheer the side on from Wembley, where they will face Glossop North End on May 9.

The sides met in the FA Cup in 2006, but North Shields were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline.

The North Shields side that took to the field on Saturday saw the club’s longest serving player Michael Robinson in goal, protected by a back four of Stuart Donnison, John Parker, skipper Kevin Hughes and Marc Lancaster.

Pulling the strings in the middle of the pitch was Michael McKeown, Adam Forster and Ben Richardson with Man of the Match James Luccock replacing Denver Morris in the starting line up and Bainbridge coming in for Dean Walker alongside Dean Holmes up front.

Morris and Walker were on the bench with Ryan Carr and Curtis Coppen and substitute keeper Chris Bannon.

Also cheering on from the sidelines were vice captain Joe Elliott, John Grey, Kieran Wrightson, the cup tied Gary Day and injured Peter Glen-Ravenhill.