'Let's all get behind West'
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
FOOTBALL fans from across the Northern League are being urged to turn out in force to support West Auckland Town FC’s bid for FA Vase glory.
West are the league’s last men standing in this year’s competition and take on Surrey side Chertsey Town at the Wanted Stadium on Saturday.
A win will see West through to a two-legged semi-final and a chance to make it third time lucky at Wembley in the Vase after finishing runners-up in 2012 and again two years later.
General manager Stuart Alderson said Saturday’s game would be the club’s biggest since the 2012 semi-final first leg when Leicester-based St Andrew’s were the visitors.
That game ended goalless, but a 2-1 second leg win saw West through to the final, which they lost 1-0 to Southampton outfit Sholing FC, another of the team to make it through to this weekend’s quarter finals.
Mr Alderson said he was hoping for a bumper crowd for Saturday’s game against Chertsey Town and an atmosphere similar to that at Hebburn, where a record 1,300 turned out to watch the last round.
“The atmosphere was cracking at Hebburn.
“We want as many people as we can in here on Saturday,” he said.
Remarkably, this will be West’s first home fixture in this year's FA Vase.
“The draw has not been the kindest to us this year – but we have played every round away and never let a goal in,” said Mr Alderson.
“Saturday will be a good day out and if we can get this out of the way, anything is possible.
“We don’t know how strong the league is that Chertsey Town play in, but the Northern League takes a bit of beating.
“Gary (Forrest, West manager) had a team down watching them on Saturday.”
Mr Alderson added: “We are the only team from round here left in the competition. Let’s get everyone behind us and see if we can go all the way.
“A good cup run gives everyone at the club a lift – everyone is bouncing at the moment.”
Saturday’s other quarter-finals see Northwich Victoria host Sholing; Bidggleswade United visit Canterbury City and Willand Rovers take on Cray Valley PM.
Normal admission prices of £6, £4 and £1 apply for Saturday’s game at West.
It is not a ticketed game – spectators should pay on the gate as usual.