The Isuzu FA Vase

West Auckland win is 'the best feeling in the world'

Sunday 06 Apr 2014
Thumbs up from West Auckland's happy boss Peter Dixon

West Auckland Town manager Peter Dixon called his side's progress to The FA Carlsberg Vase final "the best feeling in the world".

Dixon's side beat St Andrews after coming from a goal down thanks to a Steven Richardson quick-fire double.

The County Durham club reached The Final in 2012 but lost to Dunston UTS at Wembley and the boss wants to make amends this year against Sholing FC.

St Andrews 1-2 West Auckland

The FA Carlsberg Vase
Semi-Final second leg
Canal Street, Aylestone
West Auckland win 2-1 on aggregate

Dixon said: "I'll tell the players to enjoy and savour every single second of it. It is an amazing achievement to make it to Wembley twice in three years.

"I'm excited for The Final. The last time we made it I didn't know what to expect and the occasion felt so surreal. But now I do know and it is one of the best feelings in the world."

West Auckland's boss explained his team have won the football lottery twice and will make sure he enjoys the experience more than last time.

Two years ago Dixon lost 2-0 to Northern League rivals Dunston and feared history was repeating itself in Saturday's Semi-Final.

Steven Richardson celebrates for West Auckland

Steven Richardson celebrates for West Auckland


In the 2012 Final captain Mattie Moffat played with a fractured cheekbone in the defeat. Against St Andrews he had to be substituted off due to injury midway through the first half.

Things went from bad to worse when West Auckland went behind to a stunning volley by England schoolboy Brady Hickey on 63 minutes.

But Steven Richardson, who was substituted on for the injured Moffat, became the hero with two goals in eight minutes to give his club a second shot at Wembley.

"I thought it was all happening again with our player injured and us losing," he said.

"But we are comeback specialists and sometimes we need someone to hit us in the face to get us going and that is what happened today.

"Huge credit to Steven Richardson – sometimes he has been in and out of the team but he played his part today coming on for Moffat and scoring the goals."

Dixon also gave admiration to St Andrews and empathised with his beaten opponents.

West Auckland celebrate

West Auckland's players delighted to secure Wembley trip


He continued: "I made sure I shook every players' hand because as much as I enjoyed myself half of my mind was with them.

"I know what it is like because I've been in their situation. I've lost an even bigger game than today because of The Final at Wembley two years ago."

Dixon will now lead his team back to Wembley to face Hampshire-based Sholing FC, who beat Eastbourne United 6-4 on aggregate in the other Semi-Final.

The Final will be played on Saturday 10 May.

By FA Staff