Lincoln United vs Deal Town

Lincoln United won in a tense penalty shootout to reach the Isuzu FA Vase semi-finals for the first time in their history, beating Deal Town.

The game ended 1-1, but a 4-3 win in the shootout took The Whites just two games away from the final at Wembley Stadium.

The Whites were in the quarter-finals for the first time since the competition’s inaugural season, 1974/75. Whereas, the visitors were hoping to go one step closer to repeating their tournament win in 2000. 

Kent-based Deal came into the game as the only previous winners left in this year’s competition, continuing a season that has them five points off the top of their division with games in hand.

887 fans came to the Sun-hat Villas & Resorts Stadium as Lincoln looked to rebound from two winless games. However, the Hoops had lost just once in 24 games before their trip to Lincolnshire. 


It was a slow start at Ashby Avenue, in-front of a jubilant crowd. Both teams traded early corners, before a goalmouth scramble almost brought the first goal in the 12th minute.

Tom Chapman looked to stab the ball home after Jack Steggles mishandled it, but to the delight of United, Mitch Griffiths managed to get back to recover the situation.

The deadlock was then broken at the other end. Jake Park rushed through on goal and shot straight at James Tonkin. However, the Deal ‘keeper could only parry the effort into the path of Jack McMenemy, who followed in and chipped United into the lead for his 23rd goal of the campaign.

Just three minutes later, the visitors thought they had equalised. Ben Chapman poked the ball beyond Steggles, but the linesman raised his flag to cut the celebrations short.

Then, Tom Chapman forced a low save to Steggles’ right, as the Kent outfit looked to restore equity. 

He continued to cause trouble down the Lincoln right, twisting and turning past Whites’ club-legend Kallum Smith before rolling a chance just wide.

Chapman had yet another effort in the 33rd minute. The pacey winger cut inside from the right, but his effort was tame and easily collected by Steggles. He was the dangerman for Deal, constantly charging down the right and cutting inside to cause problems.

The hosts were second-best after the goal, tormented by Tom Chapman. Deal made this pressure pay as they drew level in the 42nd minute. Ashley Miller stood the ball up to the back-post, where Ben Chapman nodded it past Steggles in-front of the strong travelling support.

Lincoln United vs Deal Town
Lincoln United reach the Vase semi-finals for the first time.


The second-half started much like the first, a slower pace that grew as the half went on. Tom Chapman had the first effort after the break, blazing over from 20-yards out. 

Deal Town made a 434-mile round-trip to be at Ashby Avenue, and were making themselves heard in a bumper crowd.

Miller went close to completing the turnaround as he cut in front the left, firing a shot straight at Steggles.

Then, Kallum Smith had a chance at the other end, as he turned nicely at the edge of the box. His shot was always rising, but had ‘keeper Tonkins worried momentarily. 

In the 65th minute, Deal had appeals for a penalty waved away. It appeared Ted Gibbons barged Tom Chapman in the back inside the area, but referee Gareth Thomas emphatically turned down the shouts.

It was a very even game after half-time, with the two high-flyers in their respective divisions trading chances. Park looked to turn in the box, but was closed down before he could get an effort away.

Lincoln captain Elliott Dye fired a shot over the Allen Crombie End, as the hosts started to create more scoring opportunities. 

With the game entering the last ten minutes, Steggles parried a curling effort from Deal substitute Wes Hennessey. Luckily for the Whites ‘keeper, it went through the traffic and safely away from any potential rebound.

With two minutes to go, McMenemy smacked the bar. He was looking to add his second of the afternoon, as he nodded a Tobias Liversidge cross tantalisingly onto the woodwork. 

In the last minute, Lincoln had a final corner, but were made to settle for a penalty shootout for the third FA Vase round in a row.

Lincoln United vs Deal Town
Lincoln United claim a famous victory in front of nearly 900 fans.

Lincoln United 1 (4) – 1 (3) Deal Town

Chris Funnell’s side repeated their heroics, winning a fourth penalty shootout of the competition so far this season.

Goalkeeper Tonkins blazed over Deal’s fifth penalty to keep The Whites’ dream alive, after Billy Brooks converted United’s final kick from 12-yards. 

Liversidge had missed the first spot-kick, but McMenemy, Smith, substitute Brooks and captain Dye converted their penalties to help Lincoln reach the FA Vase semi-finals for the first time in their history.