Jarrow shock Yorkshire Amateur to reach FA Vase second round for first time
Even before losing nine players to injury, the Perth Green side were rank outsiders going into Saturday’s tie against Northern Counties East League Premier Division leaders Yorkshire Amateur.
However, with a performance laden with hard work, passion and determination, Jarrow more than matched their in-form opponents over an intriguing 90 minutes.
Both sides hit the woodwork as Gibraltar international Adam Priestley struck the post for the visitors in the first-half and Jarrow defender Darryll Donnelly headed against the bar five minutes after the restart.
It was Jarrow that created the majority of the best chances throughout an inspired display with Adam Lennox, Dan Smith and man of the match Graeme McCall all going close to giving their side a deserved.
The tie was to be decided by a penalties after neither side managed to break the deadlock over 90 minutes and Jarrow goalkeeper Steve Hubery came to the fore by making two stunning saves in the shoot-out.
That gave McCall a chance to secure his side’s place in Monday’s draw and he made no mistake with a cool spot-kick under severe pressure.
That set off emotional celebrations from the vast majority of those inside Perth Green and left Bell to praise his side for an outstanding performance.
He told The Gazette: “For me, coming into the game, with so many players missing, and in front of a decent crowd, you just that you perform on the day.
“The lads were superb, and they worked so hard against a very good side.
“We knew they were a good team, but we have worked really hard and got exactly what we deserved.
“We kept our nerve in the shoot-out, Steve Hubery was superb in there.
“It takes us further than we did last year, so it’s a nice little bit of history for the club, and we absolutely deserve to do that on the day,” he added.
“We have gone further than last year, we have made history, and I am so proud to have done that.
“It’s a massive achievement for the club and everybody involved.”
If there was a slight negative for Bell and fellow joint-manager Scott Oliver, it was that their side slipped into the bottom three of the Northern League Division Two table after Ryton and Crawcrook Albion’s 5-1 win against fellow strugglers Washington.
Bell challenged his players to take their Vase performances into their league campaign as they look to climb the table in the coming weeks.
“We know what we are capable of, we have the players and since Scott has come in, we have added more quality.
“We now have to take performances like we have put in during the Vase run into the league and I am sure we can move away from the bottom of the table.”