14/5/13 - Grimsby Town (3) vs (2) Forest Green - Playoff Semi 2nd leg
Surprisingly for this one, Rovers dropped back to a more conventional 4-5-1, swapping their attacking mid for a holding player, although with away goals not a factor they only needed a 1-0 win the force extra time. I did nothing differently in my preparations for the squad, keeping the same XI that ran out for the first leg and trying to maintain a sense of calm in the dressing room.
The nearly all went out of the window as it took a good low save from Alnwick to prevent them getting that goal after just 19 seconds, and again after three minutes. I had expected Rovers to come out all guns blazing but I was disappointed at how easily we were losing our shape. I shouted to focus on keeping the ball, as we slowly worked our way into the half, and again got the all important first goal as Kerr converted at the back post after a scramble in the box. Straight from the kick off the equaliser came, as we all stood like statues through a 15-pass move. Infuriating. Vieira then preserved his goal with a goal line clearance down the other end, and salt was rubbed into the wound as a 40-yard free kick was headed in. 4-4 on aggregate, and two goals conceded from two attacks.
The team, and particularly the back four, copped a bake at half time. All four goals conceded in the tie were from defensive lapses and any more and we were likely out. We edged ahead again after 55, as Elding headed home, but could we hold out at the other end? On 67 we again went two goals ahead on aggregate, as Soares lashed home from the edge of the are after cutting in from the left. Adeyemi then applied the icing, being rewarded for a late run to the far post with a tap in.
Final: (7) 4-2 (4)
MOTM: Soares (Grim)
We meet Mansfield Town in the final after they ousted Burton 2-1 on aggregate in the other semi. We beat them 2-0 at home early in the season, and they beat us 2-1 in the return league fixture.