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Leasing.com Trophy

Leasing.com Trophy: Five players to look out for in the Semi-Finals

11 February 2020

And then there were four!

With the Leasing.com Trophy Semi-Final fixtures just around the corner and Wembley Stadium within touching distance, we've picked out five players to watch...

1. John Marquis (Portsmouth)

Portsmouth forward John Marquis found the net in both Round Three and the Quarter-Finals, against Walsall and Scunthorpe United respectively, to help his side into the last four. The 27-year-old - signed from Doncaster Rovers, where he was named in the PFA Team of the Season for League One in 2018/19 - now has 11 goals to his name in all competitions this season and would surely love to fire Pompey to Wembley as Kenny Jackett's side look to be the first team to reach back-to-back finals in the competition. 

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2. Nicky Ajose (Exeter City)

Looking to match Marquis stride for stride in the Semi-Finals will be Nicky Ajose, the seasoned Exeter City forward with a keen eye for goal. Having got the Grecians' Trophy campaign off to the perfect start in the group stages against Cheltenham Town, he's also scored goals in each of the last two rounds, against Ipswich Town and Stevenage respectively. Can he go one better here?

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3. Cameron Burgess (Salford City)

The 6ft 4in defender has done a fine job at both ends of the pitch in the Leasing.com Trophy this season, with Salford City participating in the competition for the very first time. Burgess scored and kept a clean sheet as the Ammies overcame Port Vale in Round Three, and the centre back drove his teammates on to a comeback win against Accrington Stanley in the Quarter-Finals. Leading by example he found the net again, heading home an Ibou Toure free-kick for a vital first-half equaliser to set Salford on their way to the Semi-Finals. 

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4. Matt Jay (Exeter City)

The Exeter City midfielder shone in the Grecians Quarter-Final win over Stevenage and has surely earned his place in the side for the Semi-Final clash against Portsmouth. Matt Taylor’s men put three past Stevenage to advance in the competition, Jay having a hand in all three goals. After helping set up the first, the 23-year-old was involved throughout. A neat touch, turn and finish saw him score his first of the game - his fifth of the season, and the midfielder wasn’t done there. After being played through on goal, he finished comfortably into the back of the net to round off an impressive individual performance. With Exeter City having never made it past the Semi-Finals of the competition before, can Jay and Ajose help fire them to Wembley? 

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5. Scott Bennet (Newport County)

Newport County are just one game away from a fifth visit to Wembley Stadium in eight years thanks to Scott Bennett’s Quarter-Final strike. The midfielder has been influential in both league and cup for Michael Flynn’s side this season and was rewarded with his first goal of the season against Leicester City U21s. The midfield lynchpin dominated the young Foxes with his experience, firm tackling and passing ability as he ran the show in the middle of the park, as well as drilling home the only goal of the game. The 29-year-old will be looking for a similar performance against Salford City in the Semi-Finals. 

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