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Who's who of Blues opponents

PUBLISHED: 11:34 01 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:01 05 July 2010

KIRKHAM & Wesham are hoping their big Wembley day out will signal the start of big things at the Lancashire club.

Lowestoft Town's FA Vase final opponents saw off the Blues' Ridgeons League rivals Needham Market 4-2 over two legs of their semi-final to book their place under the famous arch on Sunday, May 11.

KIRKHAM & Wesham are hoping their big Wembley day out will signal the start of big things at the Lancashire club.

Lowestoft Town's FA Vase final opponents saw off the Blues' Ridgeons League rivals Needham Market 4-2 over two legs of their semi-final to book their place under the famous arch on Sunday, May 11.

The northerners play their football in Division Two of the Vodcat North West Counties League, or one level below the Blues in the non-league football pyramid, and they will be descending on London hoping to spoil Lowestoft's own dreams of Vase success.

But for now, they are simply happy to be there.

“It is only in the last few games that we thought we had a chance of getting to Wembley,” Kirkham defender Tony Keefe told the Lancashire Evening Post, after his goalline clearance helped keep Needham at bay.

“It was a tremendous win for us. It is just like a dream.”

Now the 31-year-old PE teacher in nearby Clitheroe will run out on the Wembley turf alongside his team-mates and make history for the Kellamergh Park club.

Seventeen-year-old striker Matt Walwyn's last-minute winner sealed Kirkham's 1-0 victory in front of 200 delirious visiting fans in Suffolk on Saturday and with a trip to Wembley in the bag, the club expect to pocket up to £150,000 from their Vase exploits.

The club had 1,053 fans at Kellamergh Park for their semi-final first leg against Needham and the club's president David Haythornthwaite said: “It's just an incredible achievement for the players, the manager, the club and the town, and I'm hoping we can take 10,000 fans from Kirkham and the Fylde to Wembley.

“Our FA Vase run has captured the imagination of the town and not only put this club on the map locally, but nationally too.

“The club has made massive strides. We've found a place in Kirkham now which will be our first ever club shop. With everything that goes with it, we think this will be worth £150,000 to the club and will set us up for years.”

Kirkham, who play in all white, currently sit third in their division with just enough games in hand on their rivals to mount an unlikely title push.

And it promises to be an extremely busy six weeks for the Lancashire club ahead of the Vase final, with the club facing 13 games in five weeks before taking on the Blues at Wembley.

Lowestoft have nine league fixtures of their own to complete before May 11.

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