First strike could turn tie – Mellon

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FLEETWOOD Town boss Micky Mellon, whose team face a massive task to pull back a 2-0 deficit in the Blue Square Bet Premier League play-off against AFC Wimbledon tomorrow night, has warned: “We must make sure we don’t blow in the first 20 minutes.”

The need for goals is urgent, but his team can’t allow themselves to adopt a gung-ho approach, for if they leave gaps at the back and concede a goal early, that will blow any slim chance they have.

The stakes are high for both combatants – the winners will meet the winners of tonight’s clash between Luton and Wrexham at the City Of Manchester Stadium on May 21.

The winners of that match go into the Football League, along with champions Crawley, who are already promoted.

It looks highly likely that Luton will make it the play-off final – they went into tonight’s second leg at Kenilworth Road with a handsome 3-0 advantage over Wrexham.

Mellon insisted: “We are still in the tie – the next goal for either club will be massive, and we will be working hard to make sure that we are the side to get it.

“We didn’t play anywhere near as well as we could in the first leg, but I know I will get a reaction from my players.

“Unusually for us, only for little spells in the first leg did the real Fleetwood turn up.

“I don’t care what anyone says – and I have watched the match again over and over – there was nothing between the two sides until that first goal.

“Then we conceded a goal to the kind of defending that you wouldn’t see on Common Edge Road.”

Mellon is looking at several options regarding his formation, though always at the back of his mind is the thought that they must score three goals.

He said: “I would be telling lies if I said I hadn’t thought of making changes and we have talked about different formations and how we play, but they are only the same kind of problems that the Wimbledon manager Terry Brown has.”

Brown will have an additional motivational tool at his disposal prior to tomorrow night’s clash.

There is still burning resentment at the way the original Wimbledon lost their League status.

Brown said: “The boys won’t be complacent and I’ll get their backsides up – we will not milk anything.

“The club had [their place in the Football League] stolen from them eight or nine years ago, so it’s a chance to show the FA a thing or two.”