Vase hero nearly missed out on squad

Adam Forster (far left) fires home the winner for North Shields five minutes into extra time. Picture by Ian Warde.
Adam Forster (far left) fires home the winner for North Shields five minutes into extra time. Picture by Ian Warde.

North Shields hero Adam Forster has revealed he nearly missed out on Wembley joy.

The midfielder, who scored what proved to be the winner five minutes into extra time, needed a late fitness test just to make the bench.

And he also admitted he did not know what to do once he saw the ball hit the back of the net following a great cross by man of the match Denver Morris.

Forster said: “I needed a late fitness test just to ensure I made the bench.

“To score the decider at Wembley is unreal, it’s still a dream.

“I don’t score many, that will take some beating unless we come back and win again next year.”

He added: “Words can’t describe how I feel after scoring the winner – I’m over the moon.

“The ball came through the crowd, it was a great run and cross from Denver, and luckily it fell to me and I was able to put it in the net. I don’t do it very often.

“I didn’t know what to do when I scored, I just ran around!”

Forster, whose nickname is Fozzy, took inspiration from skipper Kevin Hughes’ player profiles in the match programme after writing “Fozzy is great on the ball, he’s well known for his marauding runs through the field, most of the time with no end product!”

Striker Gareth Bainbridge dedicated his goal to his late father Brian.

It was his 103rd goal for the Robins in his 17th in the FA Vase run.

His father died earlier in the season after losing his struggle against a head injury sustained in a pub attack 13 years ago.

Gareth said: “It was great to score but the biggest thing is we won.

“I’m so so happy to win here, to do it with this set of lads is absolutely amazing.

“This though is all about the club the fans and the town. This is the reward for those who have worked so hard.”

Assistant manager Andy Bowman said: “It was everything we hoped for and more.

“After a shaky first half when I thought they dealt with the occasion better than ourselves we gradually got a foothold in the game.

“The reaction of the lads after conceding was amazing, they just got back up and oozed character to turn the game around.

“North Shields winning at Wembley – well it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”

North Shields are now the only club to have won both the FA Amateur Cup and FA Vase.

They were cheered on at Wembley by seven of the 1969 side who won the FA Amateur Cup, again by a 2-1 scoreline with the Robins having come from behind.