FA Trophy Underdogs Both Make It To Wembley

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Lincoln City can concentrate on winning the Vanarama National League after the Imps crashed out of a second successive cup competition by losing in the Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Final 3-2 on aggregate to York City on Saturday.

York, Trophy winners in 2012 and runners-up in 2009, are returning to Wembley for a third time after a 1-1 draw at Sincil Bank in the second-leg.

The Minstermen’s narrow first leg advantage was cancelled out by Sean Raggett’s header midway through the second half after Nathan Arnold’s corner was knocked back by Luke Waterfall.

However, with no further goals the contest moved into extra-time, during which the visitors grabbed the all-important equaliser on 103 minutes when Hamza Bencherif’s shot was adjudged to have been handled by Terry Hawkridge.

And sub Scott Fenwick stepped up to convert the penalty and earn another trip to Wembley where they will take on Macclesfield Town as the two underdogs achieved notable wins against high-flying opponents.

The Silkmen, who haven`t appeared at the home of football for a Trophy final since 1996 when they beat Northwich Victoria, edged out Tranmere Rovers 2-1 on aggregate following their single goal triumph at Prenton Park.

The sides shared a 1-1 draw at the Moss Rose last weekend and the signs were that Tranmere, like Lincoln, battling for a return to the Football League, would make it through to their first ever Trophy final.

But the hosts struggled to get their game together as Macc goalkeeper Scott Flinders rarely had a save to make, despite Micky Mellon`s side having the lions` share of possession.

Few chances were created in the first half, with neither ‘keeper stretched.

Macclesfield were the much better team after the break as they piled the pressure on the Tranmere goal.

The Silkmen then had their best chance though as a quick counter attack saw the ball find its way to Ollie Norburn in the penalty area, and he rattled the bar with Scott Davies beaten.

The midfielder was presented with another opportunity after 68 minutes though, and this time he made no mistake as he beat Steve McNulty to bring down a long ball and immediately smashed a shot across goal and in at the far post.

And Macclesfield`s solid defence expertly kept the Rovers` attack at bay for the remainder of the match to be able to celebrate a fine win at the end of the game.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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