Di Canio: Win was for dad

PA Sport
Paolo Di Canio
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Paolo Di Canio

Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio dedicated the 1-0 win over Barnet which secured a date at Wembley to his late father.

The Robins will play Chesterfield in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at the national stadium after overcoming Barnet in the area final at The County Ground, winning 2-1 on aggregate.

Di Canio, whose dad passed away in October, said his parents never got to see him play at the home of English football as a player. He said: "I dedicate this win to my dad. It is a special moment because I never went to Wembley as a player."

He added: "I am very happy for myself, because my mum and my dad will be happy. It is something special but the league is still the target to get promoted. My dream was to always play at Wembley, so I'm very happy. I spent eight years thinking every season I would love to play in a cup final at Wembley.

"It is something special and it is life. I do not like to talk about sacrifices. We decided we are going to Wembley because we played much better than the other side."

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Swindon made their numerical advantage count after 17 minutes - with Barnet's Mark Hughes off the field receiving treatment - as Alan Connell found space to meet a perfectly weighted delivery from Paul Caddis.

The Robins had chances to extend their lead before the break, with Barnet goalkeeper Dean Brill on hand to stop strikes by Raffaele De Vita and Paul Benson. Despite making a resilient beginning to the second half, Barnet failed to create any openings, with leading scorer Izale McLeod isolated.

A goal down in the tie, Barnet's hopes worsened after 85 minutes when substitute Charlie Taylor, who had been on the pitch for just 10 minutes, was shown a straight red card for a foul on Oliver Risser.

Barnet boss Lawrie Sanchez hailed his players because he felt they were beaten by a Championship side - not one from League Two.

Sanchez said: "We were playing the best team in the league. Whoever will finish above them will win the league. I give credit to Swindon. I think they are a Championship side in League Two. I think they will probably win the league. They have a massive squad and a bigger wage bill than us."

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