Vase future in jeopardy

With clubs from northern England providing five of the contestants in this weekend's FA Carlsberg Vase quarter-finals, the Federation Brewery Northern League, in particular, can be proud. It has produced three of the last eight, a fine achievement, but one that may have sad implications for the future of the Vase.

If Guisborough, one of the three Northern League representatives, can see off Taunton, the Screwfix Direct Western League leaders, at their King George V ground on Sunday, three of the last four will be from the north.

Last season's final, between Clitheroe from Lancashire and Brigg from Humberside, drew a crowd of just 7,340 to Wembley - a long way below the Vase final record attendance of 26,487 for Sudbury Town against Tamworth in 1989.

The Football Association has already taken the controversial decision to ban clubs without floodlights from next season's Vase - a ruling which will lessen the grass-roots charm of the tournament. If this year's final draws another poor crowd, speculation that the final might be moved away from Wembley could become reality. That would spoil the dreams of all who enter the Vase, in which the appeal of the national stadium, rather than the competition itself, is what matters.

Such fears, however, will not spoil the fun for the Northern League. Its clubs made regular trips to Wembley in the days of the FA Amateur Cup, but last season none made it past the last 32. This term, though, it is all smiles for one of the country's most competitive but most hospitable leagues.

Before Guisborough's big day on Sunday, Whitby entertain Mossley, from the North West Counties League, tomorrow while Bedlington Terriers travel to Humberside to take on North Ferriby, of the Northern Counties East League. North Ferriby's attack will be led by Andy Flounders, the former Hull City striker who helped Brigg win the Vase last year. The only all- southern quarter-final pairs two Icis League sides: Northwood and Banstead.

In the GM Vauxhall Conference, Halifax have put their former manager, George Mulhall, plus the former West Bromwich midfielder Kieran O'Regan in temporary charge of team affairs following last weekend's departure of John Carroll and his assistant, Billy Rodaway.

The England semi-professional side play their first fixture this season on Tuesday, when they meet the Republic of Ireland at St Patrick's Athletic's ground in Dublin.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week