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West bow out in the last eight of FA Vase

West Auckland Town 0-2 Chertsey Town

First-half goals from Dale Binns and Quincey Rowe saw Chertsey Town progress to the semi-finals of the FA Vase for the first time in the club’s history as they overcame West Auckland Town 2-0 at the Wanted Stadium.

Two goals in the first 26 minutes was enough for Dave Anderson’s side to secure a place in the last four.

Inside the opening 10 minutes, Binns sent the Surrey outfit ahead as the forward kept his composure after collecting a cross-field pass to slot the ball past an advancing Shane Bland in front of 738 in attendance.

On 26 minutes, Chertsey doubled their lead as centre-half Rowe found space on the right of the penalty area before firing home to ensure a Northern League side would not be making it to Wembley Stadium this season.

Chertsey Town, who represent the Combined Counties Premier Division, made the 530-mile round trip in good form having only lost once all season and currently sit second in the league, winning 17 and drawing five.

Meanwhile so far this year, West have won four, drawn one and lost two of their league and cup fixtures, having just recently beaten Tow Law Town 3-0 in the Mitre Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup 11 days ago.

With the sun beaming down onto the pitch before kick-off, it promised to be a fascinating contest as West Auckland went into the game, the last remaining Northern League team still in the competition.

However, within ten minutes, Gary Forrest’s side were dealt an early blow as Chertsey took the lead when a long diagonal ball found Binns on the left-hand side, who was able to hold off a challenge from Denver Morris to remain calm and place his effort past Bland to send the travelling supporters into a buoyant mood.

West looked for an immediate response a few moments later as Amar Purewal delivered a low cross into the visitor’s 18-yard box though fellow forward David Dowson was unable to get a crucial touch as The Curfews survived a brief scare.

Though Chertsey soon punished West with another clinical move, starting with Lewis Jackson, who tried to get a shot away as the ball fell into the path of Rowe and the centre-half found some space to smash it beyond Bland and leave Forrest’s side with a mountain to climb.

On 31 minutes, the visitors almost added a third as a quick one-two between Jake Baxter and Lubo Guentchev resulted in the former’s volley being superbly kept out by Bland before hitting the rebound against the post as Chertsey frustrated West to limited chances in the opening 45 minutes.

In truth, after the restart, West enjoyed plenty of possession but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal as substitutes Arran Wearmouth and Adam Burnicle squandered half-chances as Forrest’s side were unable to break down a well organised opposition and for the first time since 2008, there will be no Northern League side in the FA Vase Final.

West now look to regroup and shake off the disappointment with a home encounter against promotion-chasing Consett on Tuesday evening (19:30).

West Auckland – Bland, Morris, Price, Cobain, Hunter, Snaith (c), Francis (Wearmouth, 57), Portas, Dowson (Burnicle, 70), Purewal, Mitchell (Heaney, 77)

Subs not used – Dodds, Coulson

Chertsey Town – Jupp, Jackson, Welch-Turner, Maclaren (c), Peacock (Kinsella, 90), Rowe, Guentchev, Taylor, Baxter, Murphy, Binns (Driver, 65)

Subs not used – Pomroy, Bennell, Gallifent

Goals – Binns (10), Rowe (26)

Referee – Peter Gibbons

Attendance – 738

Report by Harry Crowe

Picture by Andy Mitchell.

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