FA Vase final a showcase for North East - Peter Dixon

West Auckland boss Peter Dixon believes the success of his side and Dunston UTS in reaching the FA Vase final is a testament to north east football.

The two clubs follow in the footsteps of fellow Northern League side Whitley Bay, who won the cup three years running between 2009 and 2011.

"I think everyone knows the level we're at, level five, is the strongest in the country," Dixon told BBC Look North.

"We proved that today by getting both clubs to the final out of 539 teams."

Dixon's side overcame the threat of Kent League side Herne Bay over the two legs to secure their trip to the national stadium, winning 2-1 at home in the second leg to seal a 4-3 aggregate success.

"We've worked hard for a long time to get this," he added.

"The club's been in the doldrums for sixty years, they've not had a lot to shout about, and the committee has been here through thick and thin.

"Managers come and go, players come and go but the committee have been here through it all.

"It can be a lifetime chore or it can be a lifetime's enjoyment, and we gave them some enjoyment today, which means an awful lot to me to give something back."

West Auckland's previous claim to fame came from their 1909 Thomas Lipton trophy success, since described as a formative 'World Cup' between teams within the major footballing nations.

They also reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup in 1961 before losing to Walthamstow Avenue, but can go one better on the 13 May.

"It's the FA Cup for our level, it's fairytales and people will talk about this for years to come," Dixon continued.

"W've got two local lads who live in the village, our goalkeeper and our captain, and their kids will be proud of them.

"They can go to school knowing it was their parents who got the town to Wembley."

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