Accrington Stanley’s promotion dream lives on as they eye play-off glory.
The Reds who suffered late heartbreak last weekend can pick themselves up off the canvas with a good result at Wimbledon on Saturday night - to put themselves in a strong position to get to Wembley.
The Reds’ goalless draw with Stevenage in front of a sellout crowd at the Wham Stadium last weekend saw them fall just short of automatic promotion as they were cruelly pipped by Bristol Rovers in a tumultuous end to the League Two regular season.
Stanley fans shared a sense of disbelief in the aftermath of the Stevenage game, but are still backing the Reds to go all the way.
Season ticket holder Ben Marrow, 24, of Clayton-le-Moors, spoke of his disappointment.
He said: “I’m gutted. It’s hard to explain the feeling but we’ve just got to go again.
“It’ll be a test of our character but I think we’ve got a good personality within the squad and obviously a good leader in Coleman. That’ll give us the best possible chance.”
Roger Clegg, 82, of Accrington had not been to a Stanley game for over ten years, but wanted to be in attendance for what seemed destined to be a historic day.
He said: “I arrived without a ticket, I didn’t know I needed one before I arrived.
“It’s football. I hope we can still do it. It’d be great to see.”
Dave O’Meara, 41, has been going to Stanley games for over 20 years and expected a routine victory, but was instead left shocked.
He said: “All season we’ve been playing really good football and after last week [‘s win at Wycombe] I think everyone just thought we’d get the job done.
“Even as the game went on and we couldn’t score, it just seemed like being our day, then the killer blow happened.”
Stanley will travel to Wimbledon on Saturday, May 14 for the first leg of their playoff semi final, with the return leg at the Wham Stadium on Wednesday, May 18.
Should the Reds defeat the Dons, who finished the season in seventh place 10 points behind fourth placed Stanley, they will book a dream date at Wembley for the play-off final against Plymouth Argyle or Portsmouth on Bank Holiday Monday, May 30.
Portsmouth and Plymouth drew 2-2 in Thursday night’s semi final first leg at Fratton Park with former Stanley player Gary Roberts netting a crucial penalty to ensure Pompey parity.