Published 17th March 2012
.....and York City following Saturday`s exciting second legs.
Ryman League Premier Division Wealdstone – winners in 1984/85 – had their tremendous run ended after losing 3-1 on aggregate to Newport following a goalless draw in their semi-final second leg at Grosvenor Vale.
The Stones always knew it was going to be a tough ask producing a comeback against Justin Edinburgh`s side, and Wealdstone had a few opportunities but in truth home goalkeeper Jonathan North was the pick of their side with a string of excellent saves.
Gordon Bartlett’s team will take a lot from their run in the competition, which started back in October, after shock wins over Barrow AFC and Cambridge United.
The Stones will now turn their attention to a late surge for the play-offs.
Matty Blair hit the most dramatic of late equalisers to send York into the final – leaving Conference Premier rivals Luton Town heartbroken for a second successive season.
Luton, who were beaten at this stage in last season’s competition, lost 1-0 in the first leg at Bootham Crescent last week but Robbie Willmott’s 43rd minute effort had put them into a 1-0 lead at Kenilworth Road, levelling the aggregate scores.
But, with extra-time looming, Blair was on hand to edge York into a 2-1 aggregate score overall, booking their place at Wembley.
Luton pair Keith Keane and Jake Howells had both been dismissed in the first leg but returned from suspension to take on York once again here and the former almost got on the end of Willmott’s fizzing long-range effort to open the scoring after half an hour.
It was one of many chances for the dominant home side as they went in search of an opener to level the tie and it finally came two minutes before the break when Willmott timed his run perfectly to slot Danny Crow’s cross into the net.
The goal was a wake-up call for the visitors, who began to control proceedings when the sides kicked-off for the second half.
And they were almost back in front through Jamie Reed, the scorer of the winning goal in the first leg, 13 minutes from time but his shot bounced straight into the arms of the Luton 'keeper.
But, with extra-time looking like a certainty, York finally found their equaliser in the final minute of normal time.
Jamal Fyfield was the provider, crossing in from the left for the unmarked Blair to head York to Wembley.