Westley relishing Old Trafford trip
Published : 21 May 2011 12:00:03
Stevenage boss Graham Westley is predicting "one hell of an encounter" when his side face Torquay in the npower League Two play-off final at Old Trafford next Saturday.
Borough won the second leg of their play-off semi-final 1-0 at nine-man Accrington to seal a 3-0 aggregate victory. Having arrived at the Crown Ground with a 2-0 first-leg advantage courtesy of goals from midfielders Stacy Long and Joel Byrom, Stevenage snatched a late winner through substitute Chris Beardsley.
Westley said: "Torquay are another fabulous side - they're well managed and they play good football. We only got one point out of the two games against them this year, just like we did against Accrington, so we know it's not going to be easy."
He added: "They've had a fantastic win taking Shrewsbury out in the semi-finals and they're going to be buoyed by that. They've got some great professionals at the club but it's going to be one hell of an encounter and we're looking forward to it. If we get our gameplan right we can win."
Stevenage defended superbly throughout to restrict Accrington - who had left-back Joe Jacobson and midfielder Sean McConville sent off in the final quarter of the match - to few genuine goalscoring opportunities.
And Beardsley fired home from close range in the dying embers of a game marred by a niggling undercurrent both on the pitch and on the touchline.
Accrington boss John Coleman could not his frustration and pointed an accusing finger at the officials, although he conceded that his side's hopes of reaching the final had already been dealt a severe blow in the first leg.
Coleman said: "I think the tie was lost on Sunday and the easy thing to do would be to blame the referee, but I'm not going to be blaming the referee. We let ourselves down on Sunday and we knew they would come here with a gameplan to stop us playing.
"Yet I can't believe they were allowed to get away with what they got away with.
"I didn't even know Sean hadn't been sent off and I would have to see Joe Jacobson's red card again. But he would never deliberately try and hurt anybody - and there were a lot of things that went on that went unpunished."