Former Sunderland hero says FA Vase celebrations will stay with him forever

South Shields enjoy their FA Vase win at Team Solent. Picture by Peter Talbot
South Shields enjoy their FA Vase win at Team Solent. Picture by Peter Talbot
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Former Sunderland star Julio Arca says the celebrations which followed his 40-yard wonder goal for South Shields on Saturday will live with him for the rest of his life.

Arca’s stoppage time strike capped a 5-2 victory at Team Solent as the Mariners reached the FA Vase quarter-finals for the first time since 1976.

When Arca’s shot looped over home goalkeeper Bradley Banda and beneath the crossbar, some of the 450 travelling Shields fans spilled onto the pitch to celebrate with the Argentine and his team-mates.

It’s a moment the 35-year-old will never forget.

The ex-Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder said: “I don’t think I’ve ever scored a goal like that before.

“The best thing about it was the celebration.

“I wish I could go back now and celebrate again with the fans and all the players on the field. You don’t really get that very often.

“To score that goal and celebrate with them was fantastic.

“There are things in football that you’ll remember forever, and I think that will be one of the things I’ll always remember from South Shields.”

Shields did not have it all their own way at Test Park, but goals from Alex Nicholson, David Foley, Carl Finnigan, Arca and an own goal sealed their progress.

Arca added: “At times we played well, but we know we can do a lot better than that.

“5-2 is a decent result and of course we’re really happy with that, but everyone knows we could have played better.

“The weekend was fantastic though and we were looked after very well by the club.”