As the curtain drew on a joyous and historical weekend for anyone associated with Congleton Town. All attention has now turned to Monday’s FA Vase semi-final draw [3pm GMT], to see who awaits The Bears in the final four.
Newport Pagnell Town
This article will look into each semi-finalist in a little more detail, previewing the draw, in order to get a better understanding on the potential outfits that could be standing in between Congleton Town and a trip to Wembley.
All four semi-final sides progressed to the final four through penalty shootouts against their respective opponents, highlighting how evenly contested these semi-final clashes are set to be.
Corsham Town have had their nerves tested on numerous occasions before reaching this stage of the FA Vase. The Quarrymen have triumphed through a penalty shootout three times this season defeating Royal Wootton Bassett, Brixham and most recently Peacehaven and Telscombe.
The West Wiltshire side currently sit in 5th place in the Hellenic Premier Division but with enough games in hand on teams above that would see them rise to the summit of the league table if they’re to win them.
Corsham Town have only been defeated once in the league since the 8th October 2022, a streak any team would be proud of.
Kieran Baggs’ side are averaging 2.12 goals a game in the league while averaging 0.88 goals conceded at the other end. But goals have dried up in the FA Vase for them, scoring only three goals in open play in their last four games.
It doesn’t come with much surprise to see last season’s FA Vase winners in the final four as they look to bring the trophy back to Buckinghamshire.
Similar to Corsham Town, the holders have had to progress through the completion the hard way, progressing twice through penalties and enduring two closely-fought 1-0 victories.
The Swans sit in 4th place in the United Counties League Premier Division South with Gary Flinn’s side hoping to climb to second with their games in hand.
It goes without saying Newport Pagnell Town concede very few goals, averaging less than one goal conceded a game in the league and have only had to pick the ball out their net three times on their FA Vase defence.
The team from Berkshire are many people’s favourites to win the competition and currently sit pretty at the top of their Counties League Premier Division North, scoring 67 times in just 27 league outings.
However, in comparison to Corsham Town and Newport Pagnell Town, The Yellamen have a higher goals conceded average, albeit not by much.
Their FA Vase campaign however, has been much more plain-sailing than the other two before their 1-1 draw against West Didsbury and Chorlton on Saturday, which they ultimately won on penalties. Ascot before then had only conceded one goal in the competition.
Ascot have only lost one game in the league and FA Vase since their FA Cup exit to Holyport back in August.
In any sport, a semi-final clash will never be straightforward and that’s no different for Congleton Town, whose potential semi-final opponents have all enjoyed successful campaigns up to now, just like themselves.
But Richard Duffy’s side have defied the odds on numerous occasions this season, from taking AFC Fylde to a replay and defeating Stalybridge Celtic in the Cheshire Senior Cup.
The mentality of this Congleton side has made their fans confident every time they step foot on a football pitch, and that’s without talking about the football quality this side has all over the pitch too.
April 1st is a date for the history books as Congleton Town look to confirm their status in this year’s FA Vase final.
Come on you Bears!