It`s certain that, purely in terms of the potential crowd, the powers that be would have liked to have seen a Leyton Orient and Stockport County Buildbase FA Trophy Final at Wembley. It won`t happen though as both were beaten in Tuesday night`s Quarter-Final replays.
Orient`s dream of playing at Wembley are over as they were beaten 3-2 at the International Stadium by Vanarama National League rivals Gateshead in a thrilling encounter.
Only 95 seconds had elapsed when the home side took the lead when Danny Johnson slid the ball past Orient `keeper Dean Brill from Jordan Preston’s cross.
The hosts were then handed a great chance to double their lead in the 15th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Johnson was brought down by Dan Happe in the box.
Johnson sent Brill the wrong way from the spot.
However, the O`s got a lifeline 7 minutes after the break when James Brophy fired past James Montgomery from 20 yards after a cross was only partially cleared.
And the visitors got back on level terms with 20 minutes to go when David Mooney headed Brophy’s cross past Montgomery.
But 9 minutes later, Gateshead’s Richard Peniket netted Scott Barrow’s cross rom close range to win if for Steve Watson’s side.
Gateshead will face either Bromley or Spennymoor Town in the two-legged semi-finals.
The all-National League North replay at St James`s Park between Brackley Town and Stockport went to form, with the third-placed Northamptonshire Saints edging out the Hatters to meet National League South outfit Wealdstone in their first ever national cup semi-final.
Kevin Wilkin`s side got off to a great start when they took the lead after just 4 minutes – Aaron Williams lobbing the Stockport `keeper Ben Hinchliffe after being sent through by Lee Ndlovu.
County then got a grip of the tie and home keeper Danny Lewis had to be alert to prevent Darren Stephenson and Jason Oswell from levelling.
But Brackley held firm until half-time, only to conceded shortly after the restart when Oswell converted Scott Duxbury’s cross.
However, the hosts hit back immediately with a terrific goal from Shane Byrne, who fired past Ben Hinchcliffe from the edge of the area.
Matty Warburton came close to equalising in the 66th minute and Hinchcliffe denied Adam Walker at the other end.
But after surviving a tense stoppage time period, Brackley held firm to make it through to the two-legged semi-final against the former winners.