West Auckland boss feels Ashington one of best sides in league

WEST Auckland Town manager Peter Dixon takes his squad into Saturday’s final match of the season against Ashington at Woodhorn Lane knowing that victory would see them lift the championship crown.

The Durham outfit – who have already secured a place in this season’s FA Carlsberg Vase final again Dunston UTS at Wembley next month – are currently top of the league by four points from second placed Spennymoor, who have a game in hand and third placed Dunston, who are eight points adrift but with two games in hand.

However, the boss, who has seen his side plunder no less than 116 goals this term, has described the enormity of the task which awaits his squad as being “a big ask”.

Dixon, who is nearing the end of only his second season in charge with his assistant Paul Foster, said: “We go to Ashington to face one of the best teams in the league and to try and turn them over on their own patch is a big ask.

“They are a top six side and their home form is phenomenal.”

And Dixon added that Saturday’s game is bigger than his side’s Vase semi-final clash against Kent-based Herne Bay.

“This is our most important game of the season – bigger than the semi-final of the Vase.

“We know what we have to do and to be honest we could have done with facing a side of lesser quality than Ashington.

“At our place we were very fortunate to beat them in a game which could have gone either way, and when I watched them in action earlier in the season when they beat Spennymoor 4-1, they were frightening.

“That’s why we will need to be at the top of our game.”

Dixon is well known to the management team at Woodhorn Lane as well as the majority of the playing staff.

He said he will be asking his squad to look for a result – without any complications.

“At West, everything we do, we do the hard way,” he added.

“In our Vase semi-final second leg we went a goal down then played the last 43 minutes with ten men – we do nothing easy.”

Dixon will be without Matthew Coad who injured ankle ligaments in the 6-1 victory over Whitley Bay at Darlington Road in midweek.

“Matthew is going to struggle to be available for Wembley,” added the boss.