Romford and Gateshead were victorious in a day of crucial non-league finals, but how did the Semi-Professional team rate the day?

For a supporter of a non-league team, seeing your team play at Wembley is probably what you’d class as one of your wildest dreams.

That’s if we conveniently forget the fact that Solihull Moors came to the home of football looking for FA Trophy success a week after losing out on an EFL place there on spot kicks, only to suffer the same fate again, which is closer to the stuff of nightmares.

Luckily for us though, we were able to enjoy the comfort of the padded seats and the neutral section, which set us back just £10 for the privilege of enjoying two great games of football, the FA Trophy and FA Vase finals.

But from the early alarm to the late return home, how did we rate our day as a whole?

The journey:

Whilst the majority of the team travelled from Sheffield and woke up at 5.45am, which, rather them than me on that front, I was lucky enough to make the trip to my parents’ home in Hertfordshire the night before.

That move saved me at least an hour of sleep. 

I’m told the journey was pretty straightforward all things considered for the team, and we met to chat to fans outside the ground at 10am.

Whilst we’d love to see Wembley packed for Non-League Finals Day, the fact that the attendance was just shy of 20,000, which was still impressive, did mean the trains weren’t exactly rammed heading to or from the ground.

The atmosphere:

Around the ground before kick off, we were lucky to chat to excited supporters, and there was a real buzz about the place heading into the first game, which was the FA Vase which kicked off at 12.15pm.

There was a real community feel to Wembley, as four very different but proud fan bases took a corner each of the lower tier of the stadium, with the neutrals sat above them.

The importance of the finals to non-league fans was summed up by an FC United of Manchester fan who sat next to us throughout the day, he told us he’d always wanted to come and watch the finals despite his team having no involvement in the games.

That spirit was probably reflected in the great scenes for the winners, Romford coasted to their win in the FA Vase in truth, but Dejaune Brown’s dramatic penalty to win a close shootout after the game ended 2-2 after extra time between Gateshead and Solihull Moors, that was a wonderful moment.

As a side note, to the fan who waved the Great Wakering flag throughout the entirety of both games, meaning they were still at Wembley several hours after Rovers had been beaten 3-0, you put a real shift in, and we appreciated your commitment to the cause.

Overall, a great occasion for non-league fans and they didn’t disappoint on the day.

Entertainment value:

Overall, better in the second game than the first in truth, purely because the Vase was dominated by Romford against a Great Wakering side who had already lost to their opponents three times earlier in the campaign.

Still a great contest, but the Trophy final really could have gone either way for the whole game.

A great tie between two top sides, you have to feel for Solihull Moors, they were cruelly denied by penalties yet again, but overall a fantastic watch.

The only slightly disappointing thing was that we couldn’t leave the ground in the two-hour gap between the games, which left us walking half the length of Wembley looking for somewhere nice to sit, where we eventually found a nice bar.

It would have been great to leave and come back, especially when we spent at least an hour having a great time at Boxpark just down the road before the FA Vase kick off.


It was two very different yet fascinating games that yet again displayed the very best of the non-league game.

It was a great day out in the sun, and we’d recommend it to neutrals and supporters next year.