Yates now ready­ing Robins for play-offs

CHEL­TENHAM ......0 BRAD­FORD ..........0

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jon Palmer

MARK Yates ad­mit­ted he was glad Chel­tenham have avoided meet­ing Brad­ford City in the play-off semi-fi­nals af­ter this hard-fought stale­mate.

The Robins failed to break down the Ban­tams, who had cen­tre-half An­drew Davies sent off af­ter an hour for a sec­ond book­ing af­ter shov­ing Jer­maine Mc­Glashan.

Chel­tenham will now play Northamp­ton Town, while Brad­ford take on Bur­ton in the other semi­fi­nal.

Af­ter guid­ing Chel­tenham to the play-offs for a sec­ond suc­ces­sive sea­son, Yates said: “Con­grat­u­la­tions to Rother­ham for get­ting au­to­matic pro­mo­tion, but we have to get up there with them now.

“The league doesn’t lie af­ter 46 games, but we can be dis­ap­pointed with this game, in terms of want­ing to get third spot and it not hap­pen­ing for us.

“It’s now back to work and we’ll be ready to go again.We are look­ing for­ward to the play-offs and two tough legs against Northamp­ton, which we are pre­pared for it.

“We have planned for it and we know what we are do­ing.We are on a great run at home, but it just wasn’t our day.

“Brad­ford are a re­ally good side and af­ter what they did in the League Cup this sea­son I don’t mind not play­ing them in the semi­fi­nals, but Northamp­ton have good play­ers and a good man­ager too so it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter who you get.”

Brad­ford’s as­sis­tant man­ager Steve Parkin ad­mit­ted it was im­por­tant they were able to rest some tired legs ahead of their semi-fi­nal against Bur­ton, even if Davies’ dis­missal al­most forced their hand.

“The most im­por­tant thing for us was to give a few other play­ers a good op­por­tu­nity for a game be­cause it’s been a very, very tough sea­son,” he said.

“It wasn’t the pret­ti­est game that’s ever been, on a very dif­fi­cult pitch, but there were some good per­for­mances and some very com­mit­ted per­for­mances, and we’re just de­lighted to be in the play-offs re­ally.

“I think it’s tes­ta­ment to the lads’ fit­ness re­ally.With ten min­utes to go we cer­tainly opened them up es­pe­cially down the right hand side on cer­tain oc­ca­sions.

“We told An­drew at half-time he needed to be whiter than white in the sec­ond half, and we didn’t want to bring him off, be­cause we wanted Rory McAr­dle who has played the best part of 60 games to have a breather. Ob­vi­ously, he shoved the lad and it was a bit soft but you can see why he booked him.”

Chel­tenham looked the more likely win­ners, with Steve El­liott head­ing wide from a good po­si­tion in the 16th minute and Mar­lon Pack nod­ding against the post from Billy Jones’ cor­ner in the 79th minute, but it was a game of very few clear chances.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

FLY­ING HIGH: Chltenham’s Mar­lon Pack hits the post with a header

MY BALL: Shaun Har­rad, right, and Zavon Hines tus­sle

SIDO JOM­BATI

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