West Auckland Town general manager Stuart Alderson has expressed his surprise at the reaction to his club increasing the admission fee for their game with Darlington next weekend.

He pointed out that the price for Quakers' games at Heritage Park is £8, only £2 less than what will be charged next Saturday.

West have doubled prices from £5 to £10, but Alderson said the 100 per cent increase is necessary to cover costs of a larger than average attendance.

West's average is under 250, but Quakers have regularly been attracting gates of well over 1,000.

Alderson said: "It's only £2 more than Darlington charge, I don't know what all the carry on is about.

"There's been damage to other grounds (during Darlington away games) and you can't say there hasn't because I know there has been. At Dunston there was damage in the toilets .

"So it's to cover us, the extra expense, that's all.

"But to be quite honest with you, I couldn't care less how many turn up."

Ebac Northern League chairman Mike Amos hoped to persuade West to have a rethink, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

Alderson added: "We had a talk about it between ourselves and we decided to leave it at that, £10 and £5.

"If we went to Bishop to see Darlo it would be £8 and £4 - why is that, are they better than us, this club?

"They're a Northern League team and they're charging £8 and £4.

"For this game it's only going to be £2 extra, that's all it is.

"And it's £2 extra to sit at Darlington and £3 to park your car. So how can they expect to be different to us? I just can't get my head around that."

Darlington supporters are expected to boycott the game in protest at the price hike, with fans fearing that other Northern League clubs will follow West's lead if a large crowd is in attendance next week.

"I'm not really bothered," added Alderson.

"If that's how they want to take it over a couple of quid then they can.

"They're in the Northern League and they're quite fortunate that they were accepted into the Northern League.

"It's a game I want to watch. We don't want any trouble, we just want everybody to enjoy the game."