Plymouth Argyle will be aiming to complete a remarkable turnaround when they head to Wycombe Wanderers for the second leg of their League Two play-off semi-final on Thursday.
John Sheridan’s men were 3-0 down in the 85th minute of Sunday’s home leg, but bounced back through goals from substitutes Zak Ansah and Jason Banton to cut the defecit to a single goal at the midway point.
“I went in at half-time and said we could get something out of the game,” said Sheridan. “But then you find yourself conceding a third goal, which is one of the worst I’ve seen as a manager or as a player, then everything’s really down.
“I was looking to see how we could back in the game. I couldn’t really see us scoring, but the substitutes have come on, scored two goals and it gives us that lifeline to really believe we are back in the tie.
“It would’ve been really difficult to get through the tie at 3-0, but to find ourselves at 3-2 is a big relief for us and everyone involved.
“We got something out of the game and we’re still right in the tie.”
Wycombe ended the season in fourth and manager Gareth Ainsworth added: “It would mean so much to the whole town, not just the club, if we were able to reach the final, but we know we have a huge challenge ahead of us in the second leg.”
The second semi-final sees Southend United and Stevenage locked at 1-1 ahead of the return leg at Roots Hall, with manager Phil Brown delighted to be back on home soil.
“I’d take a draw at half-time in any game of football as it gives you a reason to go out in the second half, play, and go and win the game,” he said.
“I don’t think the surface at Stevenage was conducive to play football but the surface at Roots Hall will play a big part in the style and type of game we’ll play.”
But opposition boss Graham Westley is confident his Stevenage side are destined for Wembley.
“There are teams that look at a finish line and are drawn to it and there are teams that look at a finish line and are daunted by it. I have got a feeling that we will be a side that is drawn to the finish line,” he remarked.
“It is in our nature, it is in our make-up and you can definitely feel the confidence and the authority within the squad growing.”
The winners of the two ties meet in the final on May 23.