FA Vase countdown - a few facts and figures about Rugby Town's big game

By Jon Venner

David Kolodynski in Rugby Town's league game last week with Cogenhoe, as they maintain their promotion efforts in the build-up to the FA Vase game on February 12 PICTURE BY MARTIN PULLEY
David Kolodynski in Rugby Town's league game last week with Cogenhoe, as they maintain their promotion efforts in the build-up to the FA Vase game on February 12 PICTURE BY MARTIN PULLEY

With Rugby Town’s last 16 game in the Buildbase FA Vase just a couple of weeks away now, Jon Venner brings us a few facts and figures about the club’s big game.

Valley beat Lakenheath 5-1 at Butlin Road earlier this month to move one step closer to a place in the Wembley final, daring to dream of lifting the trophy just as the club did as VS Rugby in 1983.

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But they will have to beat the competition favourites and also previous winners North Shields in a trip to the north east on February 12 first.

* Rugby’s Fifth Round tie at North Shields falls exactly 39 years to the day of their only previous appearance at this stage of the competition.

*February 12th 1983 saw Jimmy Knox’s side return from Suffolk with a 2-1 victory over Brantham Athletic.

Alan Brotherton’s 84th minute winner secured Valley a place in the Quarter Finals, after Gordon Beecham had earlier equalised a controversial opener from the hosts.

* Town’s Fifth Round opponents North Shields continued their good form with two more victories over the past week, following up their 5-1 weekend success at Bishop Auckland with a 2-1 one at Ashington on Tuesday evening.

* These victories have seen the Robins move up into second place in the Northern League - still seven points behind leaders Consett, but with two games in hand over them.

* The Tyneside hosts have announced adult admission tickets for the game can be bought online ahead of the Fifth Round tie. The link for this can be found at www.rugbytownfc.com

* North Shields have stressed though that they expect admission for all will also be readily available on the day, but are offering the pre-game purchase option in an attempt to speed up spectator entry activity.

* The capacity of Shields’s Ralph Gardner Park stadium is in excess of 1,500, with their best 2021/22 attendance seeing 862 watching their 2-0 victory over Whitley Bay on December 27th.