FOUR years ago today, Bowers & Pitsea missed out on a trip to Wembley Stadium in heartbreaking circumstances.

Bowers made the long trip north to face Morpeth Town at Craik Park in the second leg of their FA Vase semi-final.

Following a 2-2 draw in the first leg, which took place at Concord Rangers’ Aspect Arena, the tie was nicely poised.

With the scores deadlocked at 1-1 heading into the final moments, it looked as though extra-time and possibly penalties would be needed.

However, an injury time goal allowed Morpeth to seal their place at the first-ever Non-League Finals Day, held under the gleaming arch of Wembley, at Bowers’ expense with a 4-3 aggregate scoreline.

Luke Carr struck at the death after Bowers, who ended the contest with 10 men thanks to Ross Adams’ red card, had cancelled out Sean Taylor’s early opener through Lewis Manor.

Morpeth raced out of the blocks in the first leg and the same was true of the second leg.

Taylor, who opened the scoring in the first tie, was by far the brightest spark in the opening exchanges and he created the first opportunity at Craik Park.

Martyn Guest kept his drive out on 60 seconds but was helpless two minutes later.

A first time corner was pulled back to the edge of the penalty area and Taylor sent a fine curling effort past Guest from the edge of the area.

Michael Chilton came close to putting daylight between the two sides but headed inches over the crossbar after a deep cross found him unmarked at the far post.

Bowers were hanging on, with Manor – who has gone on to become Bowers’ all-time leading goalscorer – increasingly isolated up front while home goalkeeper Karl Dryden remained untested in the home goal.

Carr struck over from an angle but then, five minutes before the break and against the run of play, Bowers levelled.

A long-range free-kick was played into the box and, after a scrambled clearance, the ball fell to Manor and he restored parity.

Level at 3-3 on aggregate at half-time, Bowers needed a faster start after the interval and that was what boss Rob Small, who has since led the club into the Isthmian Premier League, got.

The visitors fashioned the first chance of the half after a scramble in the box was cleared as far as James Stevens on the edge of the penalty area. His strike was on target but Dryden tipped it aside.

But there was nothing between the two sides as the match edged towards the final 15 minutes.

Morpeth were the team on the up and they were handed a further boost when Adams was given his marching orders.

Having been booked earlier in the encounter, the midfielder made one tackle too many and was sent off.

Michael Hall shot over for the hosts as the clock ticked down but then came Bowers’ chance.

Substitute Tom Hine – who remains at the Len Salmon Stadium – skipped through, beat the goalkeeper but could only find the outside of the post from a tight angle.

From then on it was all Morpeth and the winner came with the last meaningful action of the tie.

Keith Graydon whipped a cross in and Carr tucked home to break Bowers hearts.

Bowers & Pitsea: Guest, Pethers, Durrant (Hine), Wilson, Waters, Adams, Stevens (Salmon), Russell, Manor, Sendall, Hilton

Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster, Novak, Sayer, Swailes, Hall, Taylor, Graydon, Carr, Chilton (Pearson), Fry