ENGLAND: League Two – Play Offs – Final
Date: Monday, 31 March 2021
Kick-off at 16:00 UK/ 16:00 CET
Venue: Wembley Stadium (London)
Morecambe and Newport County meet in the League Two playoff final on Monday afternoon having come through two hard-fought semi-final ties.
While Morecambe were able to edge out Tranmere Rovers, their opponents came out on top on aggregate after a memorable second leg with Forest Green Rovers.
Having spent 14 years competing in League Two, Morecambe finally have the opportunity to take what will feel like a giant leap into the third tier of English football.
With only one top-10 finish during that time, it highlights the size of the achievement of Derek Adams’s squad, who have found themselves in contention for automatic promotion since the early weeks of the campaign.
While there was disappointment at missing out to the likes of Cambridge United and Bolton Wanderers, the Shrimps can take confidence from winning six of their last eight matches.
Tranmere managed to hold them to a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the semi-finals, but Morecambe deserve full credit for seeing out a 3-2 aggregate triumph in front of their returning supporters.
However, the North-West outfit were defeated in both of the fixtures against Newport during the regular campaign, something which can only add to the feeling that their opponents have the edge ahead of the showdown at Wembley Stadium. Consistency has not necessarily been Newport’s strong point since the middle of December with consecutive wins few and far between over the past six months.
Nevertheless, Michael Flynn and his squad will feel that it is now irrelevant after the character which was shown in edging out Forest Green over two legs.
Despite losing 4-3 after extra time on the night, two goals in the closing 15 minutes of normal time were followed by Nicky Maynard’s pivotal strike in the 119th minute. Kevin Ellison is getting plenty of attention in the press courtesy of his rivalry with former boss Adams, but the fact that none of this squad have reached double figures for goals tells you that it has taken a united effort to move the club to the brink of a first appearance in the third tier since 1987.
- Morecambe’s form in last 5 matches: DWWWL.
- Newport County’s form in last 5 matches: LWDWW.