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Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Monday, 4 April 2011 15:05 UK

Whitley Bay in third trip to Wembley for FA Vase final


Chandler delighted with third Wembley visit in a row

Whitley Bay are celebrating becoming the first ever side to reach three Wembley FA Vase finals in a row.

On 2 April, the Seahorses beat Poole Town 3-1 at Hillheads Park to win the semi-final 5-2 on aggregate.

They will meet Coalville Town in the final on Sunday, 8 May in their bid to become the first team to win the Vase three years in a row.

The Seahorses are on a 16-game winning streak in both the league and the cup and a 25-game unbeaten run in the Vase.

The Seahorses did not make life easy for themselves in the semi-final second leg. They went behind in the eighth minute to a goal by Dave Sturges, bringing the aggregate score to 2-2.

However a Paul Chow hat-trick was to come in what was eventually a comfortable Whitley Bay victory.

He told BBC Look North: "We always seem to do it the hard way at Whitley but the result was never in doubt when we got the equaliser."

Manager Ian Chandler's superstitions had stopped him from giving any pre-match interviews as the last time he did so before a Vase semi-final, his side went on to lose 4-0 (away at Lowestoft in the first leg, and eventually 4-3 on aggregate).

But Chandler was more than happy to talk after Saturday's victory. He said: "It doesn't sink in.

"Hopefully we're going to try and enjoy it a bit more than last year. Last year it was pleasing but it seemed to pass us by so this year nearer the time we'll try to enjoy ourselves. "

There had been doubts over whether Whitley Bay could repeat the success of last season after losing former captain Leon Ryan (to Spennymoor Town in June) and star striker Adam Johnson earlier this season.

Chandler is now issuing a rallying call to Whitley Bay fans to make the journey to Wembley and help stir his side to success.

There were nearly 3,000 Seahorses fans at the semi-final home leg, and Chandler is hoping at least three times that amount will attend the final.

He said: "It would be fantastic if we could push towards 10,000, it would be a dream come true to see the stadium a little bit fuller than it was for the past two years."

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see also
Poole boss calls on solid defence
29 Mar 11 |  Non League
Whitley Bay to face Poole in Vase
07 Mar 11 |  Non League
Whitley Bay 6-1 Wroxham
09 May 10 |  Non League

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