So close to Wembley, but Grimsby Town will guard against Dartford comeback in FA Trophy semi-final
PAUL Hurst refuses to book Grimsby Town’s Wembley tickets just yet, but insists “if we score again, it’s game over.”
The Mariners joint boss admits Saturday’s 3-0 triumph over Dartford in the home leg of their FA Trophy semi-final puts his side firmly in the driving seat.
A Craig Disley piledriver set the hosts on the way to victory before the Town skipper added another in the final ten minutes and Andy Cook put the icing on the cake.
That sparked joyous scenes as the Mariners fans looked towards a fourth trip to the home of English football, with renditions of “Que sera, sera… we’re going to Wembley” echoing around Blundell Park.
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But, with this weekend’s second leg to come in Kent, Hurst and co-manager Rob Scott are calling for restraint – especially with another league test, at Braintree, tomorrow evening.
“There’s always the danger that people might think the job is done with a 3-0 scoreline,” Hurst said.
“But myself and Rob will be ramming it down the players’ throats – once we’ve got tomorrow out of the way – that they need to stay at the right levels in training and approach it in the right manner.
“The 3-0 lead gives us a great opportunity to achieve our goal of getting to the final, although it’s still a dangerous scoreline. Dartford will feel that they’ve got a chance. If they get that first goal, they will feel they can build the momentum and, being at home, get the crowd behind them.
“We’ll expect a fast start from Dartford. They will come at us and we’ll have to counter that, but I would suggest that if we score a goal down there that certainly will be game over.”
With the Mariners holding a one-goal advantage heading into the closing stages on Saturday, Hurst admits it was difficult to decide whether to ‘twist or stick’.
He added: “I would have probably taken 2-0 before the match. And as the game was panning out at one stage, we would have been happy with 1-0 because we’re hard to beat.
“With the run that we’re on, we would have gone to Dartford and asked them the question of trying to beat us, which at the moment is pretty hard to do.
“But 3-0 gives us a cushion and they also had a man sent off who will miss the second leg and he is quite a big player for them.
“So, all in all, it’s steeped in our favour but we’ve got to make sure we approach it in the right manner again, otherwise you can come unstuck.
“We’re only half way into the tie and, while people might think it’s being a bit negative, there is still a lot of hard work to be done.
“It’s a really positive result from the first leg, but now our focus is on Braintree tomorrow night.”