By Dan King
Newcastle United Women's Football Club are celebrating after winning silverware at Wembley, having seen off more than 1,500 teams to lift the FA Umbo Fives women's tournament.
The United squad, consisting of skipper Steph Eadon, Steph Shaw, Beth Gardener, Megan Beer, Courtney Lock, Nichole Havery, Kayte Brooks and Sam Campion, headed to the national stadium after progressing through a qualifying campaign made up of more than 70 local qualifying heats and seven regional finals.
Newcastle United Foundation supplied the team with a minibus to transport them to Wembley, and the competition kicked off with each team walking out through the tunnel to the cheers of the crowd followed by the national anthem.
Every team was also given an Umbro kit, meaning Newcastle played in all white rather than their usual black and white stripes, but the colour change didn't hinder them in their first game against Midlands side Jan FC, as they ran out 4-1 winners.
Sarah Eadon's side's second game came against Hardly Athletic, from the London and South East qualifiers, and that ended 1-1 although United misseda host of chances to secure a second win.
But Kukri Birmingham were beaten 4-1 in the third game thanks to a hat-trick from Steph Eadon, to secure Newcastle's place in the semi-finals. However, they were pitted against The Poly, who had beaten United in the regional finals earlier in the year to go to Wembley as regional champions, with Newcastle the runners up.
But United ran out winners this time, when it mattered, with a 3-1 victory to reach the final, where they again faced Hardly Athletic. Once again, it was a tight affair but Beth Gardner scored the game's only goal.
NUWFC went into the tournament without a goalkeeper, so the side took turns to go between the sticks, and Nichole Havery made a string of fine saves in the final.
Newcastle United Women's FC would like give special thanks Phil Eadon, Matty Campion and Steve Gardener, as well as their band of loyal supporters who followed them to Wembley.