Roberts ready to make history
We re ready. That s the message from man-of-the-moment Mark Roberts as Boro prepare to go into battle against Ebbsfleet United in the FA Trophy semi-finals. The big defender wants to fulfil a boyhood dream by playing at Wembley in the final and is deter
That's the message from man-of-the-moment Mark Roberts as Boro prepare to go into battle against Ebbsfleet United in the FA Trophy semi-finals.
The big defender wants to fulfil a boyhood dream by playing at Wembley in the final and is determined not to fall at the semi-final stage of the competition for the second time in his career.
"It's a chance to make memories that will live with us for the rest of our careers," said the former Northwich Victoria man.
"Playing at Wembley is something that you dream about when you first start kicking a football around. This is a massive opportunity for us and one that we're relishing. We'll be ready."
Roberts was part of a Northwich Victoria side in 2007 that lost to Kidderminster in the last four of the competition and he is desperate not to experience that kind of disappointment again.
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"I've been in semi-finals before and it is not a nice feeling to get knocked out at that stage," he added.
"You don't realise until you are knocked out of the competition how close you are.
"But I'm not thinking about that - the whole squad is just focused on getting through and giving the fans another day out at Wembley.
"We're in good form going into the tie having gone 19 matches unbeaten and we've got to go out there and make sure we get the job done again."
Roberts has been an inspirational presence at the heart of the Boro back four since his move from Northwich while the 25-year-old has even caught the goalscoring bug recently.
Roberts hit a late winner against Altrincham at the end of last month and also got the only goal last weekend at Northwich after Boro had gone down to 10 men following Ronnie Henry's sending off.
"It's definitely a purple patch for me," he said.
"With them being winning goals as well it just makes it even better.
"It's made a big difference and got a few more points on the board for us.
"I've always tried to weigh in with goals.
"If I can chip in with a few goals then it obviously takes the pressure off some other members of the team.
"We do a lot of work on set plays on the training ground and it has paid off."
Roberts believes the fact that Boro claimed the spoils at the Victoria Stadium on Saturday despite playing the whole of the second half with 10 men illustrates the type of character in Graham Westley's squad.
"We had to work really hard but we could have actually won by more. The spirit we've got in the team at the moment is second to none.
"Obviously that will stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.