West Auckland can their end FA Vase pain - Speedy

Steven Richardson says West Auckland can make amends for their and his Wembley heartache

Non-league football action

Steven Richardson was left heartbroken when, one year ago, Spennymoor Town won the FA Vase but he remained that most dejected of beings, a substitute unused.

Nonetheless, he still counts himself lucky.

Moreover, he is confident of another victory – this time with West Auckland Town, against Wessex Premier side Sholing at Wembley on Saturday – and determined to play a part in it.

Last season, Richardson scored twice in the first leg of the Moors’ 3-1 semi-final win at Guernsey.

A 1-0 triumph at the Brewery Field sent Jason Ainsley’s men marching on the Arch, only for the Moors manager to leave his former Gateshead striker – ‘Speedy’ to many – on the bench.

Having scored in West’s semi-final at St Andrews last month, Richardson is now sweating on a place, somewhere and at any point, in the weekend’s event, when his new club seek redress for having lost in the 2012 final, to Dunston UTS.

Then, talismanic forward Matthew Moffat was a shadow of his usually imperious self, a rubber mask protecting a shattered cheekbone.

He damaged the opposite side of his face at St Andrews but less seriously so, and is understood to be available for Saturday.

And yet with admirable stoicism, Richardson still says: “I’m lucky, I thought I probably wouldn’t get a chance to play at Wembley again but within the space of 12 months I’m back and hopefully playing.

“I’d done well in the semi-final (last year) and played a big part in it. Then when Jason named the team on the morning of the game, I wasn’t too surprised to be on the bench. I just got on with it.

“But, then, when I didn’t get on, it was heartbreaking.

“Winning was obviously massive, and I still enjoyed the occasion. But on the day, you don’t feel like you’ve won it because you weren’t involved.

“So the motivation for me is to play a bigger part and still get the same result.”

Since the semi-final, West have played 14 games in 26 days, and Richardson added: “We haven’t had time to really enjoy it because we’ve had that many games, so you can’t get a settled team or any form going.

“That’s why I think we’ve struggled with results but we will go into the game with confidence, without a doubt, and I’m confident we can win.

“From what I’ve heard, Sholing are a good team. I’ve watched them on You Tube. But to be honest, I fancy us.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer