Crewe Alexandra: Mark Ellis aiming to end his Wembley blues in FA Trophy
MARK Ellis has revealed the double Wembley heartache making him even more determined to ensure Crewe reach the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.
The centre-back twice watched from the sidelines as former club Torquay played – and lost – at the most famous stadium in the world.
Now he wants to make it third time lucky by helping Crewe finish off Coventry in the northern area final and reach Wembley.
The Alex will be defending a 3-0 first-leg lead when the two sides lock horns again at Gresty Road next Wednesday (7.30pm), and the 24-year-old is hell bent on finishing the job.
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"I've been to Wembley twice as a player, and not played," he said.
"Twice I've been sat in the stands as we've lost. I want to get there and play, and win.
"It was a good first leg against Coventry, but we will treat the second leg as if it is 0-0 again. It's a different game and we will go out to win it, no matter what."
Ellis's knees first went all "trembley" in 2008 after he played in Torquay's FA Trophy semi-final win over York City – but was then overlooked as the Gulls lost the final to Ebbsfleet.
Fast forward three years, and he was in a squad returning to North London for the League Two play-off final.
However, the defender had not regained his starting place since picking up a red card that February and could only watch as Stevenage won 1-0 to seal promotion.
Now Ellis is seeking retribution for those non-events, but he has needed to show all his resolve to help Crewe inch closer to the club's first major trophy.
His brave blocks were at the fore as the Alex came under the cosh at the Ricoh Arena last week and his form has continued in the league.
Ellis was named man-of-the-match when Bournemouth visited Gresty Road on Tuesday, but that was little consolation as the Alex slipped to a 2-1 defeat.
"Everyone played well, but two decisions from the officials in the second half killed us," he said.
"It was a poor penalty call, then it was actually a throw-in to us before they scored their second.
"We had limited their shots on goal and had a few ourselves, but there was nothing any of us could do apart from get frustrated."
The Alex are not in action tomorrow because Brentford have been forced to rearrange their FA Cup fourth round replay at the wont of their Premier League opponents, Chelsea.
Manager Steve Davis, pictured left, will take the opportunity to scout Coventry, who take on Bury away.
Coventry's preparations for that match and their upcoming game at Crewe have been thrown into chaos by manager Mark Robins departing for Huddersfield Town.
Sky Blues chief executive Tim Fisher said: "To say we are disappointed is an understatement."
Lee Carsley, the former Derby County midfielder, has been appointed boss on a caretaker basis.