WELL, what a year it’s been, starting on the first match day of 2019 when the Vics faithful travelled all the way to Newcastle to watch a dramatic game against Newcastle Benfield in the third round of the FA Vase.

This was the match that bonded the team and the fans more than they had ever been before, as the team was roared out onto the field by the 150 strong contingent of Vics fans.

It was non-stop singing and dancing for the first half as the team responded and raced into a three-goal lead.

Amazing stuff, and the ovation at the end after Vics had held on for a nerve-jingling 3-2 win had to be heard to be believed.

The rest of January was spent catching up with league action, with a mixed bag of results featuring defeats against runaway leaders City of Liverpool, and Ashton Athletic followed by morale boosting wins against Padiham, 1874 Northwich and Whitchurch Alport before the next stage of the FA Vase on the first Saturday in February.

Another tough away day presented, this time against Histon, who were unbeaten so far that season at home.

Vics equalised in the 74th minute, and proved the stronger team in extra time to win the match 3-1 to give the Vics contingent another memorable day out.

A narrow win against Abbey Hey in the league followed, but it was all about the build-up to the quarter finals of the FA Vase on February 23, a home match against Sholing, the competition favourites! Another tough draw.

It didn’t look good as Sholing took the lead in front of 719 fans, but it all changed on the stroke of half time when inspirational captain Brad Cooke glanced a header in at the near post to equalise.

Northwich Guardian:

Brad Cooke celebrates his goal against Sholing. Picture by Karl Brooks Photography

Again extra time, and again Vics proved too strong as they came out 3-1 winners to progress to the two-legged semi-final against Chertsey.

March was the month of the semi-finals, the home leg ending 1-1 in front of nearly 1300 fans, leading to an epic showdown on March 30 down at Chertsey.

Near misses at either end, game-saving saves, but neither team could snatch that elusive winner so a penalty shoot-out it was, and heartbreak for the coach loads of Vics fans who had headed down south.

Northwich Guardian:

Steve Wilkes thanks the Vics faithful at Chertsey. Picture by Angela Buckley

No Wembley visit but the team battled on and finally finished fourth in the league as well as managing to win the Mid Cheshire Cup, beating Winsford United in the final to give the club its first silverware since being fan run.

A great end to a long season, and one that promised bright things for the new season.

However, August came, old favourites had left, new faces had arrived, but high hopes of a good start were dashed as Whitchurch Alport grabbed a last-minute winner in the first game of the season.

Inconsistency followed over the next couple of months, some good wins followed by some wasted points lost.

An 8-0 thrashing of Litherland followed by a 6-1 win against Burscough restored some hopes for the season but as in the manner of this season so far, these were soon dashed again with some insipid displays during October and November, with losing leads becoming the norm, most notably against Wythenshawe Town in the FA Vase .

December has come and gone, and Vics are in 12th place with a lot of work to do but the fans are still supporting us with crowds up and keeping the faith. After all, we are The Club That Wouldn’t Die