Portsmouth’s match-winner John Marquis says the Leasing.com Trophy is a competition that means something to the whole club, after the south coast outfit made it to their second Final in as many years on Tuesday evening.
Marquis’ 95th minute header alongside goals from Marcus Harness’ and Cameron McGeehan’s made sure they would be walking out under the arch once again, and the forward says it is something that he has dreamt about doing as a player.
He said: “It is a surreal feeling really and this will be the first trip to Wembley for me where I will be properly involved, I got to the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup with Millwall but missed out on the squad, so that will be a real experience for me, but as a team we want to regain that trophy.
“This competition means something to us, I don’t just mean the team but the fans as well, you only have to look at the attendance to see that there’s just under 15,000 here, that is a credit to ourselves and I am looking forward to seeing thousands of Pompey fans down Wembley Way in a few weeks time.
“Getting to Wembley is one of our main aims this season, something we targeted at the start of the season as well as promotion to the Championship, we have 14 massive league games remaining, a trip to Wembley and Arsenal in the FA Cup to come too.”
With five minutes of stoppage time remaining, Exeter City were leading 2-1 and looked favourites to progress to the Final, however two late goals handed Pompey the win, and Marquis says the Grecians should be proud of the performance they put on in the Semi-Final.
He added: “I am really happy, we worked so hard and I know it will be a really hard one to take for Exeter because they gave us a really good test, they played some good stuff on the night, we played a really strong team, an early injury meant that I came on earlier than expected.
“It was just a crazy game in the end, you saw two good teams trying to break each other down, nothing really happened for 75 minutes or so and then you get a mental 15 minutes like that where you go behind twice and then find yourself scoring two goals in stoppage time.
“Nothing is really remembered January, February time, it is the April’s May’s where you are and stuff like that will live long in the memory, we have done a lot of work as players and the staff have as well, we need to make sure that these moments don’t pass us by.”