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npower League 1 Play-Off semi-final second leg preview

5 May 2013


It's all to play for in the npower League 1 Play-Off semi-final between Sheffield United and Yeovil Town, with the Blades holding a slender advantage going into the second meeting at Huish Park on Monday.

Callum McFadzean was the first-leg hero for United - the 19-year-old scoring the only goal of the game, which was his first in senior football - but the tie is far from over with Yeovil winning 13 home matches this term - the second-highest in the division.

That's the message that was relayed by Blades caretaker boss Chris Morgan after the first leg.

He told "It was always going to be tight, most first legs are. We are happy to be one up, but that is only half-time and the players know that.

"Late on, Yeovil put us under a lot of pressure as you would expect, but we stuck to our game plan and got the result.

"The onus is always on the home team to be positive and we did that throughout. We were quickly out of the traps in the second-half and the crowd backed us like they have all season.

"Now it is important that we recover quickly and get ready for Monday."

That first-leg loss for Yeovil at Bramall Lane was their third defeat in four matches, with Gary Johnson's team ending the regular season with reverses against Oldham Athletic and Bury, with a win against Crewe Alexandra sandwiched in between.

The 57-year-old manager insists his side will be doing all they can to ensure they appear in what would be just their second Wembley final, and believes Huish Park may have a big part to play in the game.

"We will be up for it again and I know the Yeovil Town fans will be right up for it," Johnson, who returned to the Glovers in January 2012 after spells managing Peterborough United and Northampton Town, explained to the Western Gazette.

"It's a tight ground at Huish Park and I think it will be a cracking game. The boys feel that Monday can't come around quickly enough.

"We can give it a right go if we can start like we finished [in the first leg]. We're a goal down but we knew we'd have to score a goal at Huish Park anyway."

For all the latest news on Yeovil Town please click here

For all the latest news on Sheffield United please click here


Swindon Town travel to Griffin Park where they will meet Brentford in Monday's 4:30pm kick-off with nothing separating the sides after their Play-Off semi-final first-leg.

Massimo Luongo gave Swindon the advantage at the County Ground on Saturday, curling in a shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 70th minute, but then turned villain when he bundled over Harry Forrester in the box to concede an injury-time penalty, which Kevin O'Connor converted for the Bees to level the tie 1-1.

Despite the late setback, Robins manager Kevin McDonald believes his side will complete the job and give them a shot at back-to-back promotions, but is wary of possible selection issues for the second-leg.

Talking after Saturday's match, the 52-year-old told "We are still in the tie and now it's a one-off game on Monday.

"The players are ready for the game and we will see who is fit and decide what the best way to approach it is.

"The turnaround is tight but we will get on with it. There are a few knocks in the camp but we will see how the players are at training on Sunday."

The draw extends Brentford's winless run to four games, and made it three successive stalemates away from Griffin Park, with Uwe Rosler's men finishing the regular season sharing the points at Hartlepool United and Sheffield United.

The former Molde FK manager was happy with the first leg outcome and believes the tie is still evenly poised, despite having home advantage on Monday.

"The tie is wide open and I said before the game, we must make sure it was," the 44-year-old told the Hounslow Chronicle.

"To get a draw after all the circumstances of last week [losing last minute against Doncaster Rovers] was a very good result.

"It was a difficult game with not much between the two teams. In the first half they pushed us back but we had the best chance.

"After seeing our games this season against Swindon, every time we've played them in a 4-4-2 and we've played well, that was the main reason we started that way, to match them up."

For all the latest news on Brentford please click here

For all the latest news on Swindon Town please click here

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