Grimsby Town legend Matt Tees: FA Cup exit may aid league title push
A 4-2 FA Cup defeat at the first hurdle doesn't necessarily spell the end of your season – just ask Matt Tees.
The Grimsby Town legend was part of the Mariners Division Four title winners of 1971/72.
And just like the current Mariners – who lost 4-2 to Kidderminster Harriers last Saturday – that side also exited the cup after only one match.
Tees, Dave Boylen, Dave Worthington and co lost by the same score at York City in the First Round of the competition that year.
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But, far from damaging their promotion hopes, Town went on to clinch the title, losing just one of their final 11 matches as they stormed to top spot.
"That defeat allowed us to focus on the most important thing – the league," said Tees.
"It helps you in a way because it takes a lot of the pressure off, and, to be truthful, you're not going to win the FA Cup anyway.
"It means you're not playing as many games over the season and are less likely to pick up injuries here and there.
"Hopefully the Town team can do the same this season – forget about the cup, that's gone, and get promotion.
"They've only got one big thing left now and that's the league. That should be their aim."
He added: "It would be great for the town if they could get back into the League.
"It looks like they've got a decent chance this season but there are still some decent teams at the top of that league.
"You've got to win your home games for a start if you're going to have any chance."
Tees – who had two spells at Blundell Park, scoring more than a century of goals in the process – netted 29 times in the 71/72 campaign.
And the Scottish forward, who recently celebrated his 73rd birthday, says it was a truly magical time for the Mariners and their supporters.
"We got to the stage when we didn't believe we could get beaten," Tees added.
"We were playing so well and everything was going our way.
"But the most important thing was that the players were all backing each other up and playing well.
"At the start of the season you've got to aim high and think 'we're targeting promotion here'.
"The manager at the time, Lawrie McMenemy, was a very good speaker and he convinced us all that we were going up.
"When you get someone like that telling you every week, you start to believe it.
"You're going to get the odd hiccup, of course, and you're going to lose occasionally but we were certain we would bounce back and go up – which we did.
"We had the set-back with the cup game and it would have been nice to have had a cup run to get some money in for the club and get the home matches for the fans.
"But I still have great memories of that season and that's something nobody can take away from any of us."
Lawrie McMenemy and some of the stars of '72 will be at Blundell Park on Friday, November 16 for a special evening organised by the Mariners Trust. Call Dave Boylen on 07903 504682 for tickets.