The League Two play-off final takes place on Sunday at Wembley, where Exeter City and Blackpool go head to head in a must win, single game, that will see the victors promoted to League One for the start of next season.
At the end of League Two’s regular 46 game season, only a point separated Exeter in fifth from Blackpool in seventh, with Carlisle sandwiched between the two, equal on 71 points with Exeter but with an inferior goal difference.
But Exeter saw off their challenge and the semi-final between Exeter and Carlisle finished 6- 5 in the Grecians' favour. Jack Stacey bagged a 95th minute winner and their ticket to the play-off final. In an incredible night of play-off football, both teams made it through the semi-finals with extraordinary 6-5 victories. Blackpool found themselves 3-1 down with an hour gone of the semi-final second leg against Luton Town making it 5-4 in in their opponent's favour on aggregate, but a late surge from the Seasiders saw a Armand Gnanduillet strike level the game up before the pressure took hold of Luton’s players. Stuart Moore, bundled the ball into his own net to hand Blackpool a golden ticket to the final and a chance to fight for League One football next term.
Both teams go into the game with a full complement of squad players to select from with no injuries or suspensions, although there may be some tired legs from their respective semi-final thrillers.
Both competitors in this play-off final have shown real dogged determination over the course of the season, with both teams at one point, languishing nearer the foot of the table than the top. But both have really pushed their seasons on and this game is there chance to capitalise on all the hard work that has been put in.
Exeter boss Tisdale said, "I have been here before with Exeter, I have been in two finals, won one and lost one, so I know what it feels like to win and I know what it feels like to lose."
He continued, "I said [when Exeter were bottom of the table in November] that this was the best group of players that I have had in seven or eight years and people thought I was crazy, but I believed that. I believed in the players."
His Blackpool counterpart, Gary Bowyer, said after the Luton game, "We gifted them two goals. But the courage these boys had to come back was brilliant. We knew if we could get to 3-2 they'd be nervy as all teams are - but it was amazing the bravery they had to play still. It's what you play football for, and you have to realise what these supporters have been through the last few years. We were 14th on February 14 and have gone on the run, we've come here to the favourites in the play-offs and won."
Current League Two Play-off Final Odds (courtesy of Sky Bet):
Blackpool - 9/5
Draw - 23/10
Exeter City - 6/4
To Be Promoted
Blackpool - Evens
Exeter City - 4/5