Football: Another Wembley day for Chapple

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The Independent Online
IF FOREST Green Rovers are to become the first club to win the FA Trophy as well as the FA Vase, they will have to outwit the most successful manager in Trophy history.

Geoff Chapple won the country's senior non-League tournament three times in four years with his previous club, Woking. He is now concluding his second season in charge of Kingstonian, where he has already achieved success. Last term he took the Surrey side to the Ryman League title, and now he has steered them to their first Trophy final.

"We seem to enjoy playing in a big-match atmosphere," Chapple said, "and we'll definitely be up for it on Saturday." His captain, Matt Crossley, has enjoyed as many Wembley victories as his manager - the centre-back won two Trophy finals and one Third Division play-off final with Wycombe. In contrast, Kingstonian have not played at Wembley since 1960, when they lost the FA Amateur Cup final to Hendon. When they won the same tournament in 1933, they overcame Stockton in a replay at Darlington after a draw at Dulwich.

Forest Green are making their first trip to the "Twin Towers" since 1982, when they beat Rainworth 3-0 to lift the Vase. Like Kingstonian, they were promoted to the Conference a year ago, when they won the Dr Martens League. Unlike the Surrey side, though, Rovers have not spent decades at the higher levels of the non- League game - they were playing in the Gloucestershire County League little more than 25 years ago.

On Sunday the Vase holders, Tiverton Town, take on Bedlington Terriers in this season's final. It will be the Devon team's third and probably last trip to Wembley in this tournament, as they have won promotion from the Screwfix Direct to the Dr Martens League and will play in the Trophy next term.

Tiverton's long-serving striker Phil Everett needs to score once to equal Kevin Smith's record of 303 goals for the club. Bedlington's John Milner, who has hit 65 league and cup goals this season, may miss the final with a hamstring strain.