Consett AFC 2
Alshabeeb 18, Pearson 42
Hebburn Town 3
Purewall 19, Richardson 44, Martin 84
WAS IT worth the wait? Absolutely.
Substitute Olly Martin was the hero for Hebburn who came from behind twice to become the long-awaited FA Vase 2019/20 champions in a classic final at Wembley.
The Northern League rivals finally got their chance to complete the competition – and put on a hell of a show.
Consett took the lead twice in a breathless first half but on both occasions were pegged back immediately.
It was a frantic start with Hebburn’s Graeme Armstrong shooting over before Darren Holden followed suit for Consett.
Hebburn had been on the back foot until Michael McKeown saw his drive saved by the legs of keeper Kyle Hayes and when the ball was recycled, Michael Richardson’s curler came off the crossbar.
And within 60 seconds Consett led as Matthew Cornish found room in midfield and played in Ali Alshabeeb, who rounded goalkeeper Mark Foden and did brilliantly to turn the ball in from a tight angle.
But Hebburn immediately responded as McKeown played a superb pass to set Amar Purewall through on goal and he finished past Hayes with his twin brother Arjun unable to arrive in time to make the block.
The pace of the game was only quelled when Jake Orrell was stretchered off following a clash of heads and Nicholas Allen replaced him.
Consett’s Calvin Smith went close with an effort outside of the area before right-back Jermaine Metz put in a great cross for Dale Pearson to calmly slot in and give the Steelmen the lead again.
Yet it only lasted for two minutes this time as Hebburn centre-back Louis Storey got forward and had a shot saved by Hayles, but Storey put the ball back into the area and Michael Richardson swept in.
Consett had the chance to lead once more in injury time when Calvin Smith volleyed over from inside the area.
Armstrong should have put Hebburn ahead for the first time ten minutes into the second half, but dragged an effort wide from six yards after Arjun Purewal had turned Potter’s cross back for him.
Consett were then denied by a great block by Storey to deflect Smith’s close-range strike behind.
The tempo dropped in the second half with both sides more conservative in their approach.
Consett had two good chances with ten minutes left as Smith shot off-target when well-placed following good work from substitute Luke Carr and then he did the same moments later.
But it was Hebburn who were able to take theirs when Richardson squared the ball for substitute Martin and he shot in off a post just six minutes after coming on.
CONSETT: (3-4-3): Hayes; Smith, Wilkinson, Purewal; Metz, Orrell (Allen 29), Slocombe, Holden (Lawson 87); Alshabeeb, Pearson, Cornish (Carr 61).
Subs not used: Wilson (GK), Marriott, Jacab, Russell
HEBBURN: (4-4-2): Foden; Groves, Carson, Storey, Lough; Potter, Spence, McKeown, Purewal (Martin 78); Richardson, Armstrong.
Subs not used: Hunter (GK), Donaghy, Taylor, Hudson, Mullen, Eleftheriadis
Shots on: 2/5
Shots off: 6/4
Fouls conceded: 5/9
Main picture: Garry Griffiths ThreeFiveThree Photography