Westley praises threadbare squad after semi-final victory

GRAHAM WESTLEY heaped praise on his players after Boro’s threadbare squad secured their place in Saturday’s League 2 play-off final after beating Accrington on Friday night.

A 90th minute Chris Beardsley strike, only his second of the season, secured a 3-0 aggregate win over Accrington – who finished the match with nine men – to become only the fourth side to win at the Crown Ground this season.

Boro will now face Torquay United in this weekend’s final at Old Trafford after the Gulls overcame Shrewsbury in the other semi final.

“We were solid, we were organised, our work-rate was good, our discipline was good and we played enough football to create chances over the 90 minutes and over the two legs,” said Westley.

“The players have earned a good victory over a good side that, like ourselves, have come from the lower reaches of the table, earned their right in the play-offs and we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy encounter.

“It was important to keep our discipline and we’ve found to our disadvantage in previous years what can happen when you get over excited and make rash challenges and it’s cost us but tonight it’s cost them.

“I think their lads will learn a lot from the match and they will come back stronger I’m sure.

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“It was important not to let their game develop. We know what they’re like, we knew what a tough place this is to come, their results speak for themselves here at home so we knew it was going to take one hell of an effort to come here and win.

“But we believed we could, we developed a plan and the players deserve credit for the performance they put in….I think over the course of the 90 minutes you saw a side that was determined to keep a clean sheet and deserved to win.”

Stay tuned to the www.thecomet.net for more reaction from Friday night’s victory over Accrington.