MANSFIELD took two major steps towards a Third Division play-off final against Town or Lincoln yesterday as Shrewsbury reclaimed Football League status at the first attempt.
Rhys Day notched in the first half and Junior Mendes in the second as Mansfield won 2-0 against Northampton in their semi-final first leg at Sixfields.
Northampton manager Colin Calderwood later revealed former Town striker Martin Smith had played despite illness.
The second leg takes place at Field Mill on Thursday.
Shrewsbury goalkeeper Scott Howie was the hero for Jimmy Quinn's side in a penalty shoot-out win over Aldershot in the Conference play-off.
He saved all three spot kicks taken by the Shots.
Shrewsbury scored all their penalties at Stoke after the match finished 1-1 after extra time.
Crystal Palace aim to seal a First Division play-off place at Sunderland tonight.
It's a quick return leg in the North-East after the Londoners won 3-2 at Selhurst on Friday.