The best win of the lot

Considering the calibre of opposition, it has to be.

Vics were not at their best, far from it in fact, and were hanging on for spells despite playing more than an hour with an extra man.

Sholing adjusted to the dismissal of Lee Wort, who was their best player before the break, impressively and were better than their hosts for pretty much the entire second-half.

Steve Wilkes’ side has now won seven matches to reach the semi-finals, a sequence that includes notable successes against fancied opponents in Maltby Main, Newcastle Benfield and Histon.

Captain Brad Cooke had spoken beforehand about the belief those results had given to his teammates and that sensation will be stronger again after taking this scalp.

Was the ref right so send off Sholing’s Lee Wort?

Without question, he was.

The Sholing attacker allowed a ball that was in his possession to run away from him and lunged into a challenge with Cooke in a bid to retrieve it.

He was reckless, and match official Tom Reeves was positioned perfectly to make a decision.

“I don’t care if people say we beat them because they only had 10 men,” said Vics boss Steve Wilkes afterwards.

“It was a bad tackle, and it showed a lack of discipline.

“We had a handful of lads on bookings who knew another caution would mean they miss the first-leg of the semi-final.

“None of them did what their lad did.”

Coping with, and thriving in, adversity

The hosts were without their best defender, Brandon Barski, and influential midfielder Matty Clarke through suspension.

Andy Fitzgerald suffered a bang on the head during the first-half after colliding with teammate Kieron Kenny, who succumbed to an injury in the second-half.

With no obvious alternative, Wilkes asked Lewis Brownhill – an FA Vase winner at Wembley with Thatcham Town last season – to fill in at the heart of Vics’ defence.

He did so effectively and with notable calmness.

If there was a patched-up feel to the home team’s defence, they gritted their teeth to get through.

Impact of debutant Ryan Winder

The midfielder has arrived from Northern Premier League top-flight side Lancaster City and trained with his teammates for the first time on Tuesday.

Steve Wilkes was courageous to pick him ahead of Dom Craig, who was perhaps favourite to stand in for Clarke, but was vindicated fully.

Winder was Vics’ best individual performer, and by a distance too.

His cross for their equaliser, flighted perfectly for Cooke to steer it past goalkeeper Ryan Gosney, demonstrated his class.

Just as impressive was his determination to chase after Sholing sub Bradley Targett when he looked set to counter in the second-half of extra-time.

Jack Fleming halted the youngster’s progress, leaving Winder to carry the ball into the visitors’ penalty area.

His shot took a significant deflection of a defender before nestling in the far corner of the net, but Winder had perhaps earned that bit of fortune.

Will Vics have to improve?

Yes, and they’re unlikely to get this lucky again.

The FA Vase semi-finals, played over two legs, introduce a different dynamic too.

But nor do they need to be the best side left in the competition to win it, something Sholing boss Dave Diaper admitted in the run-up to this tie.

That’s what makes knockout football unpredictable.

There is unlikely to be a queue forming to face Steve Wilkes’ side either given that they have now eliminated sides with shorter odds than them in each of the past three rounds.