Preview: West vs West Auckland Town, FA Vase, Saturday 21 October

West Didsbury & Chorlton v Stockport Town
FA Vase First Round
Saturday 21st October 3pm KO
Admission: £5 for adults, £3 concessions and FREE for under-12s accompanied by an adult.
Important Supporters Notice: Please note that season tickets are not valid for the FA Vase under competition rules.

West Didbsury & Chorlton will be looking to put their midweek disappointment behind them to make history in the 1st round of the FA Vase – although their semi-namesakes will be a difficult test.

There’s little to be gained from retreading the 2-0 loss at home to Barnoldswick Town, and Steve Settle will be hoping that the non-performances was a blip in what has been a strong run of results. Since the last FA Vase fixture back in September, West have won 4 out of 5 games in both league and cup. In the Vase itself, the team have shown both their ability in front of goal and their vulnerably – which has been the story of the season on the whole. Chorlton’s opening fixture in the competition was the memorable 6-1 away win at AFC Blackpool, while the Second Qualifying Round saw the side dependent upon a last minute Matty Kay winner to seal a 4-3 victory at home to lower league opposition Stockport Town.

West Auckland Town are historically one of the most important sides in both English non-league and, more broadly, in world football. Famously, they were the side to win what has been dubbed the first World Cup in 1909. The story is too long to retell here, but as the English representatives in the competition they both won and retained the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy against teams such as Juventus, FC Zurich and FC Winterthur – the Wikipedia entry is well worth a read here.

The modern day West Auckland Town team play in the Northern League Division One – the same level of the pyramid as West, but what many would argue is the strongest regional competition in the country. The last three winners – North Shields (2015), Morpeth (2016, and beat WDCFC en route to the final), and South Shields (2017) – all came from the division. West Auckland Town themselves have been losing finalists at Wembley in the Vase final twice in recent times, being bettered by Sholing in 2014 and Dunston UTS in 2012.

In the league this season, West Auckland sit fifth having been in a patch run of form by their standards: in the 5 games since their sole FA Vase game, they have won2, drawn 1, lost 2. In the Vase itself, Auckland entered in the 2nd Qualifying round, and comfortably beat a travelling Silsden (a team in the division below Chorlton) 3-0.

A win for West Didsbury and Chorlton would be our best ever run in the competition; West Auckland Town would almost certainly view anything less than a deep run in the competition as something of a failure, given their recent history in the FA Vase. It is sure to be a thrilling game, regardless of the outcome.

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