Hebburn Town fans suffer blow ahead of FA Vase final as ticket allocations slashed

Hebburn Town players celebrate the FA Vase win. CNC PHOTOGRAPHYHebburn Town players celebrate the FA Vase win. CNC PHOTOGRAPHY
Hebburn Town players celebrate the FA Vase win. CNC PHOTOGRAPHY
Hebburn Town supporters have been dealt a blow to their hopes of watching their side make a historic appearance in the FA Vase Final later this month.

Kevin Bolam’s side secured their first-ever visit to Wembley with a dramatic win at Southern Counties East League club Corinthian on Saturday and they will face Northern League rivals Consett on Sunday 27th September.

That fixture will take place along with the FA Trophy Final as part of the annual Non-League Finals Day that has been held for the last four seasons.

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The Football Association and government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport identified the event to feature in their Covid-19 situation pilots – a decision that would have allowed 10,000 supporters into Wembley to watch both finals.

However, Wednesday evening brought the announcement that the government was reviewing the situation following an increase of Covid-19 cases throughout the country.

That means that the total allocation for tickets on Non-League Finals Day could be limited to 1,000 – leaving Hebburn and Consett supporters to await news on the limited allocation they will receive.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “In light of increasing transmission rates, the Government is reviewing the proposed sports and business events pilots ahead of the 1 October and we will unfortunately need to scale some back.

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“We know fans and audiences are eager to return, and jobs depend on this too, so work continues around the clock on the moonshot project with the ambition of having audiences back much closer to normal by Christmas, if safe to do so.”

The government announced the latest sporting events to pilot the safe return of spectators on 26 August, but they stressed that that they would only take place if the latest expert advice guaranteed the safety of those in attendance.

The factors taken into account include following social distancing measures, minimising the risk of crowding and recording people’s data to assist NHS Test and Trace.

Hebburn Town will face Consett in the all Northern League FA Vase final at Wembley later this month after their dramatic 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Corinthian.