Herne Bay v West Auckland Town
The FA Carlsberg Vase
Semi-Final first leg
3pm, Saturday 24 March 2012
Winchs Field, Herne Bay FC
Winning clubs receive £5000 from The FA's prize fund
Click here for all The FA Vase results
West Auckland Town manager Peter Dixon joked that when they make the 600-mile round trip from County Durham to the Kent coast on Saturday for the first leg of their FA Carlsberg Vase Semi-Final it will be the closest they get to playing European football.
However, a trip to the national stadium is very much in their grasp. After dramatic victories in the Fifth and Sixth Rounds, West Auckland are just one step away from returning to Wembley for the first time in 41 years.
Dixon said: "It's been such a fantastic journey so far and just to get to The Final at Wembley to give something back to the committee would be a fantastic achievement.
"We only have a small squad and some of the long trips and weekends away we've had in this competition have really bought everyone together. The team seem to never know when they are beaten and they never give up trying. This run's been a real credit to all of them."
Having overcome Northern League rivals and holders Whitley Bay in the Fifth Round to end their 29-game unbeaten run and three-year reign in the competition, West Auckland then travelled south to Bournemouth for the quarter-finals. Two dramatic stoppage time goals from Michael Rae and Mattie Moffat sent the County Durham side through 2-0.
"We had around 80 fans at Bournemouth and it was remarkable to see that many fans travel so far to support us.
"We are expecting over 100 fans to follow us down to Herne Bay, which will give the team a fantastic boost seeing and hearing our fans. Whatever happens we know we'll have the second leg back at our place and then hopefully we can start thinking about Wembley."