Thackley were hosting Ashington in the FA Vase, somewhat surprisingly as they'd been beaten 5-0 by Padiham in the previous round. But Padiham fielded a couple of ineligible players and were ejected, leaving Thackley reprieved.
Like last season's FA Vase final, where I saw South Shields comfortably beat Cleethorpes Town at Wembley in May, this tie saw teams from the Northern League Division 1 (mainly Northumberland, Durham & Cumbria) and the NCEL Premier (mainly Yorkshire, Lincolnshire & Notts) go head to head. While it's approaching ninety years since Ashington were in the Football League (D3N), compared to Thackley they are a big town club, and they had a coach load of well lubricated fans to prove it.
The match ebbed and flowed. Ashington started brightly and had a penalty saved before Thackley took the lead. 1-0 at half-time. Into the second half and Thackley were looking the more likely to score, but it was Ashington that did: 1-1 and into extra time. A sending off and some dubious officiating didn't help Thackley's cause, and they fell behind for the first time, but managed to pull it back to 2-2. It was Ashington that came up with the winner though. 2-3.
As with my previous visit to Dennyfield, my journey to and from the match was by foot, down into the Aire valley and up the other side. At least this time I'd didn't have to stumble back through the woods in the dark.