Talk Of The Town: Right mentality key to Grimsby's Wembley way
A THREE-GOAL lead and one of the best away records in the division – Grimsby Town are surely Wembley-bound.
Well, anyone booking their accommodation in the capital for next month's final might be wise to wait until 5pm this afternoon just in case!
It's not that I think the Mariners are likely to blow their first leg advantage at Dartford – it should, in theory, be simple enough to finish the job.
Defend like they have for 99 per cent of the campaign, and maybe even nick a goal, and – as joint boss Paul Hurst admitted – it's game over.
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But the problem is that football is as much a mental game as a physical one.
Step out at Princes Park at 3pm with the aim of preserving what they've got, and the Mariners could be in trouble.
Take the 'we can afford to lose 2-0' attitude and Town will quickly find themselves in a whole load of grief.
As Hurst hinted in yesterday's Telegraph, the mindset must be to treat the match like it's 0-0 with league points to play for.
Some fans I have spoken to suggested an early Dartford goal would make things tough. But any first half success for Tony Burman's men will make for an uncomfortable second period for the visitors.
The Princes Park faithful – sure to be in greater numbers than usual – won't need any encouragement to get behind their team.
And if Town sit deep and invite the hosts to lay siege on their goal, it could be a long 90 minutes for the 700 or so away fans.
For all that, a reasonably early Mariners goal should knock the stuffing out of the home side and end the tie as a contest.
And let's put it in context – no team has ever overturned a three-goal first leg deficit to win an FA Trophy semi-final.
It should be relatively straightforward and I'm sure it will be – by teatime Town WILL have hit their Wembley target and not the Darts.
Times must be tough down at Braintree's Amlin Stadium.
The Essex club battled to a 2-0 victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night, but it was far from a warm welcome for the Telegraph's intrepid reporters.
My colleague, Matt Dannatt, had to open his wallet – a rare occurrence indeed – to ensure our Big Match Live correspondent Steve Claybourn could even get into the ground.
Usually given the 'luxury' of a free seat in the press box, poor Steve then had beg for 20p – not towards a Mars Bar or a half-time cuppa – but for a team-sheet.
On the subject, BBC Radio Humberside's John Tondeur still owes our team 10p for his glance at the line-ups!