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Late drama in 2023 FA Vase Final sees the cup holders lose at Wembley

There was late drama in the 2023 FA Vase Final and sees the cup holders Newport Pagnell Town lose to Ascot United at Wembley.

In 2021–22, Newport Pagnell won the FA Vase, defeating Littlehampton Town 3–0 in the final, so there was that extra bit of pressure to retain it, no team able to do so since Whitley Bay (2009 and 2010).

However, it didn’t play out like Newport Pagnell wanted it to this time around, as they couldn’t make the most of their chances, with Ascot United snatching a win.


Ascot United
1QR – Long Crendon (10) 1–5 Ascot United (9)
2QR – Ascot United (9) 10–1 AEK Boco (10)
1R – Newport (IOW) (10) 0–1 Ascot United (9)
2R – Broadbridge Heath (9) 0–3 Ascot United (9)
3R – Ascot United (9) 4–0 Little Common (9)
4F – Buckland Athletic (9) 1–3 Ascot United (9)
5F – Bridgwater United (9) 0–1 Ascot United (9)
QF – West Didsbury & Chorlton (9) 1–1 (3–4 p) Ascot United (9)
SF – Corsham Town (9) 2–2 (4–5 p) Ascot United (9)

Newport Pagnell Town
2R – Baldock Town (9) 1–4 Newport Pagnell Town (9)
3R – Norwich United (9) 0–1 Newport Pagnell Town (9)
4R – Newport Pagnell Town (9) 1–1 (7–6 p) Leighton Town (9)
5R – Newport Pagnell Town (9) 1–0 Jersey Bulls (9)
QF – Newport Pagnell Town (9) 2–2 (4–3 p) Atherstone Town (9)
SF – Congleton Town (9) 2–2 Newport Pagnell Town (9)


Ascot United’s break began four minutes into the game. Sean McCormack crossed was blocked at the near-post. Jordan Ajanlekoko headed the resulting corner against the far post and scrambled for another corner.

Newport Pagnell had another chance moments later when Ben Ford’s effort from the outside of the box was deflected away.

Jake Watkinson missed another chance for Newport Pagnell when he shot from about 20 yards away.

After a relatively open spell, the first half began to pick up pace. Ascot’s Brendan Matthew had a shot, but Newport Pagnell goalkeeper Martin Conway was able to grab it low by Martin Conway.

Mo Ahmed, of Newport Parnell, hit the cross-shot outside the post at the opposite end.

Halfway through the first quarter, play is stopped for a head-to-head collision. Both supporters used the opportunity to increase the volume.

Shane Bush replaced captain Russell Short at Newport Pagnell Town.

Albie Hall, a Newport Pagnell player, hit the woodwork for the third time during the first 25 minutes. He had been on the receiving end of a long cross.

Ascot United’s Jay Welch missed the far post with a 20-yard shot 10 minutes later.

Lewis Wilson’s header went over the crossbar. Then Newport Pagnell had a promising break.

Albie Hall of Newport Pagnell drove past the goalpost and beyond it as the game entered six minutes of injury time. The same man also shot just wide of the near-post.

On 54 minutes, Newport Pagnell’s Shane Bush received a yellow for a late tackle on Brendan Matthew.

Jay Welch was also booked for Ascot United after a late challenge on Mo Ahmed.

Ascot United’s Marcus Mealing replaced Jay Welch on 72 minutes. Mealing had a near-immediate impact as he pounced a loose ball and forced a save from Martin Conway. The striker headed the corner against the crossbar – this was the fourth time that the woodwork had been hit.

Adam Pryce replaced Lewis Wilson and Ben Ford in Newport Pagnell.

With 11 minutes left, the deadlock was finally broken. Kai Walters flicked his header past Martin Conway, who was defending the far post.

Ascot United 1-0 Newport Pagnell Town

Ascot made a second substitution, replacing George Lock with Chris Ellis.

A challenge in the middle led to the players of both teams coming together at the end of normal time.

Christian Smail, a Newport Pagnell player, was booked as the game entered five minutes of extra time.

Kai Walters scored the only goal in the game at the full-time whistle, giving Ascot the narrow victory and FA Vase.

Here’s how fans reacted Late drama in 2023 FA Vase Final sees the cup holders lose at Wembley

@pedrovoski: Well done the Yellas. Fantastic win 🏆

@katie2808: Incredible 👏🏼 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼💛💙

@JamesHa19293771: Well done folks. Well played. Good luck next season at step 4. A good club on the up 🙂

@m1871e: Incredible rise. What an achievement

@TheXentertainer: #FAVaseWinners2023 Get used to it. Superb season. Well done Yellas 👍🏆👌 Just to add a very entertaining game and privilege to be at Wembley today to witness it 💛

@dazwesty7: Solid defence performance

@AGShizzle: Well deserved tbf

@cian_paris: Non league football in Berkshire is deffo on the up. Good to see a team do well again in the vase

@TheDB30: Congratulations, better team on the day (just about). Good advert for the level of football!

@BridgwaterUtd: Huge congratulations from us all at Bridgy Utd! All the very best for your upcoming season at Step 4 💪💪

@TootingBecFC: 👏 fairytale stuff! Amazing achievement 🏆

@dazwesty7: Solid defence performance

@BroadfieldsUtd: Massive congratulations chaps. Some season you have had, enjoy the celebrations 🏆 🏆

@TVP_Windsor: @AscotUnitedFC Many congratulations guys. Very proud of you 👌😊🏆

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