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Hurst Delighted To Be Heading To Wembley

19 March 2016

PAUL Hurst is understandably delighted that Town will now be heading back to Wembley in May, after the Mariners booked their place in the FA Trophy Final by beating Bognor Regis Town 2-1 (3-1 on aggregate) in the second leg of their semi-final on Saturday afternoon.

An early penalty from Padraig Amond gave Town a two goal cushion in the tie following their 1-0 success at Nyewood Lane last week before Bognor got back into things with an equaliser before the break. After a battling performance from the Rocks, the side eventually managed to finish things off when Amond struck again twelve minutes from time, and Town will now face FC Halifax Town for the Trophy at the national stadium on 22nd May.

Speaking after the game, Hurst said: ''There's no better place to play for the players and to lead a team out as manager and I'm pleased for the staff as well.

''It was a job done today, that was the all important thing and I'm also pleased for the fans that have wanted to get to Wembley in this competition.

''Hopefully by the time that comes around, hopefully the ones that weren't so sure will come along and support the team.''


Asked if he thought the run in the Trophy had affected league form, Hurst said: ''There's no point getting this stage and not getting through and I think the competition has served us well because at various points, I've been able to give players that haven't played some game time and the deeper we've got into the competition, I've obviously gone stronger in the main but I don't think for one minute that the competition has hindered us in terms of the league.


''Yes, we're a few games behind but ultimately I don't think it's cost us points, I genuinely don't, so I'm sure the board are happy as well that we've got a final to look forward to and I've just said there, once we've done these interviews, it'll be put to bed because of the date it's on now.


''There's no planning and worrying for that, that'll take care of itself when it comes around.''


Bognor Regis put in a spirited display at Blundell Park on the day, as they did in the first leg and Hurst also explained that he wasn't surprised that they provided tough opposition and is just pleased that the side were able to overcome them over the two games.


He said: ''They did (play well), which is not a surprise because I said going in to the first game that they're a good side.


''Ssome people that you say no matter who you're playing against that you give them respect but I've watched them and they do well, the first thing that we were told was that they would be very comfortable in the league above and I think looking at the performances, that would be true.


''The difficulty they have is fitting in all the games that they've got but I genuinely wish them well because they're a decent side.''


Town will now go back to concentrating on the National League ahead of the final, starting with the visit of Wrexham to Blundell Park on Saturday and Hurst says that the objective now is to try and make sure that his side have two finals to go to in May.

''Again, it'd be a dream come true if we get to two finals, that's the aim and again, if I can only choose one, Ill swap this one, get us thrown out of the competition and get to the play-off final but the reality is, we've got an opportunity to reach two nad the first target is to get to another Wembley final in the play-offs.


''We've got some hard work to do before we can talk about that and even talk about the play-offs because of the chasing group,'' said Hurst.


''Most of them have won today and the gap's sort of closed but t the same time, we're still in a very good position and it's certainly in our hands.''



Watch the full post-match press conference with the Town boss below.

 

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