Non-League Football: Tangerines' dream: Delight for Diss

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The Independent Online
TWO GOALS in the last 10 minutes of Wednesday's semi-final replay earned Diss Town, from Norfolk, a trip to Wembley for the FA Vase final on 7 May. Trailing to Mark Stewart's 50th-minute free-kick for Atherton Laburnum Rovers, the Tangerines levelled through a header from their captain, Gary Smith, in the 82nd minute. Less than 60 seconds later, another header from Ian Manning, a substitute, settled the tie.

Atherton LR, having outlasted Aldershot Town in the quarter-finals - when they did not concede a goal in 330 minutes - had been the favourites to win the semi-final. However, Diss, with the former Norwich player, Peter Mendham, in their team, deservedly won the first leg 3-1 in Norfolk. Their lead was cancelled out by a 2-0 home win for the Carling North West Counties League champions at Crilly Park last Saturday - hence the replay at Rugby.

Diss, from the Jewson Eastern League, will face Taunton Town at Wembley. Andy Perrett's 58th goal in 35 games this season earned the Somerset side a 1-0 victory at Boston last Sunday and a 2-0 aggregate success in the other semi-final. A Great Mills League team will contest the Vase final for the second successive season - Tiverton, Taunton's title rivals, lost to Bridlington Town last year.

Graham Roberts, the former Tottenham defender, is on course for a return to Wembley. The Enfield player-manager's 54th-minute strike was the only goal in Tuesday's FA Trophy quarter-final replay against Sutton United.

Enfield's opponents in the last four will be Woking, who came from behind to win at Billingham Synthonia in a replay on Wednesday. Richard Allen put the Cleveland club ahead on the stroke of half-time, but two goals after the interval from Kevan Brown took the Surrey side through. The other Trophy semi-final will be between Ray McHale's Guiseley team and Runcorn, last season's beaten finalists.

In the GM Vauxhall Conference, Kidderminster Harriers enjoy a three-point advantage, with three games in hand, over second-placed Kettering Town - and the leaders will need all the stamina they can muster to come through the next nine days unscathed.

After tomorrow's tricky trip to Yeovil, Harriers entertain Bromsgrove Rovers in a Worcestershire derby on Tuesday, when a crowd of over 4,000 is expected at Aggborough. Next Friday Kidderminster have another home game against Gateshead, then they travel to Telford the following afternoon.

Peter Wragg, the former Macclesfield and Halifax manager, has taken charge at the Conference strugglers, Stalybridge Celtic, in succession to Phil Wilson.

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