SPENNYMOOR Town are celebrating after lifting the FA Carlsberg Vase at Wembley.
Moors held most of the possession throughout the 90 minutes, but, despite their superiority, they managed only two goals and, in the end, had to hang onto a narrow lead.
From the kick-off, Spennymoor had the upper hand and were catching their Kent opponents with quick breaks. Gavin Cogdon and man-of-the-match Keith Graydon combined in an excellent move which eventually forced a save from Tunbridge goalkeeper Chris Oladogba.
Ainsley’s team continued to attack and were rewarded in the 18th minute when regular marksman Cogdon headed in Kallum Griffiths’ cross to send Moors’ contingent of 4,000 fans into raptures.
Tunbridge never really threatened in the opening period and Moors were always the more likely side to score again, but they were unable to build on a narrow lead and eventually paid the penalty with 12 minutes remaining.
When the Spennymoor defence only partially cleared a cross, Josh Stanford pounced, lifting the ball over the head of Robert Dean as the goalkeeper desperately tried to get back into his goal.
At this stage, the result could have gone either way, but far from being dispirited, Spennymoor attacked in force and, in the 80th minute, clinched what turned out to be the winning goal.
A partial clearance was picked up by Graydon and the one-time Sunderland reserve-teamer made no mistake, leaving Oladogba helpless.
The final 10 minutes were tense, but Moors held on to become the third Ebac Northern League team to lift the trophy in the last five seasons.
Whitley Bay did it in three consecutive years before the crown was taken from them last season by Dunston UTS. Now it’s Spennymoor’s turn and there was no happier man at Wembley than ENL chairman Mike Amos.
“To bring the trophy back to the ENL for a fifth consecutive season is a magnificent achievement. It’s been a another good day for North East local football and I couldn’t be more proud,” enthused Amos.
SPENNYMOOR TOWN: Dean, Griffiths, Mason, Ryan, Capper, Dodds, Walton, Graydon, Phillips, Davison, Cogdon. Subs: Rae, Stephenson, Peacock, Richardson, Knight
TUNBRIDGE WELLS: Oladogba, Bourne, Mingle, Whibley, Spackman, Fuller, McMath, Cornell, Stanford, Pilbeam, Irvine. Subs: Harris, Boyle, Davey, Sinden, Czanner
Referee: Michael Naylor (Sheffield)