Tadcaster Albion – A Historic Day
1,307 football fans gathered at the i2i stadium in Tadcaster on Saturday 7th March to watch what promised to be a historic game between Tadcaster Albion and Highworth Town in the FA Vase Quarter Final. Win or lose, this was the furthest that The Brewers had taken their team since they formed in 1892 – and the feeling of pride in the team and the town was at an all-time high.
This was The Brewers second game against Highworth Town – last week’s game ended in a one all draw after extra time away at the Highworth Town ground. The game was a credit to both teams as they both wanted to win so much that they played their hearts out for over 120 minutes.
Fans and supporters who weren’t able to attend last week’s game were able to watch the game live on YouTube due to some streaming wizardry.
This Saturday supporters entered the i2i stadium from as early as 12noon to a fantastic atmosphere. Fans of all ages turned up in the Tadcaster Albion colours, kids, parent’s even grandparents who have followed The Brewers for decades attended.
Matt Gore the chairman of Tadcaster Albion was quoted as saying “We didn’t anticipate over 1,300 fans today. We were hoping to get 1,000. That’s an unbelievable number. I want to thank them on behalf of the club for turning out.”
Businesses in Tadcaster had been promoting the match and the Town solidly for the past two weeks using social media to get the word out to anyone and everyone. You couldn’t actually drive through Tadcaster without seeing the shop windows and businesses dressed up with the Brewers colours. I think everyone who took part in spreading the word about this historic match should be proud of what they have accomplished; it was they who encouraged a record number of supporters to attend (in my opinion).
One thing which none of us had control over was the weather, but it turned out to be the warmest day of the year so far at 13-14 degrees and bright sunshine.
The match kicked off promptly at 3pm with Tadcaster taking control of the ball first. The first half was played at an incredible pace and must have been around 50/50 for ball possession and shots at goal. Speaking to people who didn’t attend I was told that there was no mistaking that the game was going well as the cheers could be heard all over the town.
After 44 minutes of fast paced football Highworth Town gave away a penalty, by this point I was actually stood in line with the penalty spot waiting for a photo of the ball sinking into the visitors net, Callum Ward (who was fouled) was also set to take the penalty. I never got the photo as the shot was saved by an outstretched keeper and his trailing left leg (even though he was diving to the right) the game continued for around 40 more seconds before the half time whistle blew.
I took the time to talk to a few of the home supporters during the break and the general consensus was that the two teams were fairly evenly matched and it was still anyone’s game. The hardened Brewers supporters were confident that the home team were more than capable of pulling forward with a goal in the second half (I certainly wouldn’t have made a bet against either team based on the first half).
I figured that once the second half whistle had been blown that both teams would have calmed down a little and decided to go for a more strategically paced game, that didn’t happen!
The second half was just as relentless as the first and in some parts seemed even faster paced and intense.
After 74 minutes Highworth Town took the lead with a very well played goal, from that point on Tadcaster Albion played their hardest and fastest game breaking away from their opposition on several occasions but were unable to get the ball passed a very determined Highworth Town keeper.
The last 15 minutes (including 5 minutes extra time) were all played in the oppositions half and how any of the players kept the pace so high I will never know. Shot after shot, perfect crosses but still nothing was getting passed their keeper. On two occasions the Highworth keeper punched the ball clear where the only thing between the ball and the goal was his stretched out arm.
As the full time whistle blew it was obvious how disappointed the Brewers were by their loss but in the true spirit of football the Brewers walked the pitch and showed their appreciation for the support by clapping the crowd. This really was a match that I’m going to remember for a long time.
Highworth Town now go on to play North Shields in the semi final and Tadcaster Albion should celebrate their highest position in the clubs history because the people of Tadcaster are proud of your achievement and look forward to seeing you soon.
Thanks for reading and I hope that you will continue to show your support for the Tadcaster Albion football team (The Brewers)
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