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Latest team to win promotion to League One via the League Two Playoff Final confirmed

Tranmere Rovers have won promotion to League One after beating Newport County in the League Two Playoff Final at Wembley this afternoon.

A victory for Newport will see them competing in the third-tier of English football for the first time since the 1986-87 season but it also would be the first time three Welsh teams competed in the top three divisions of English football since 1994-95 (Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham).

Tranmere were not only playing for a place in the third tier of English football for the first time since losing their place in them back in 2014, but also secure them back to back promotions.

The opening 30 minutes of the game started brightly, Tranmere had the better possession but Newport were the brighter side with more of a threat on goal.

In the 6th minute, there were shouts for a penalty for the Exiles as Jamille Matt smashed a shot against the arm of Manny Monthe, however the whistle had already blew for a free kick to Rovers.

Just under half through the first half, there was a great stop by Joe Day to deny James Norwood opening the scoring for Tranmere. Jake Caprice ran down the right, picked out Norwood in the penalty area before smashing a volley but straight at the keeper to parry the ball away.

The was stoppage in play for drinks break before a cross from the left came in and Mark O’Brien headed across goal, almost being prodded in and then went behind for a goal kick.

Both sides made challenges with the referee having to calm things down, still not enough for the official to give any cards out but instead having quiet words.

Rovers’ Jay Harris got moaned at by Norwood for not passing the ball to him, though it ending up with the goalscorer anyway but he out it over the crossbar then again ranted at his teammate.

The whistle blew for half time and Lincoln boss Danny Cowley gave his first half thoughts, live on Sky Sports Football, he said: “I think it’s been pretty nervy. I think Newport look a real threat from set-pieces and that looks like the most likely way they’ll score. For Tranmere, Caprice has got down the right a couple of times and obviously, Norwood is always a threat. He’s found one very good chance, but at the moment, it’s a very tight game, devoid of quality in the final third.”

The second half started as temperamental as it left off, Jamille Matt was the first to be booked for denying Scott Davies from rolling the ball out.

Substitute Ben Pringle whipped in a free kick from the right, it went towards goal a lot closer than anticipated with keeper Day forced to tip it over the bar. The corner came to nothing.

A dramatic couple of minutes past the hour mark saw Monthe goes down after an ariel challenge with Matt. Arm in the face but nothing malicious.

Newport’s O’Brien was booked for a series of fouls which tested the referee’s patience.

Tranmere fans then wanted a penalty after Connor Jennings was bundled over in the box. Referee gave nothing, leaving a Sky commentator suggesting he has seem something similar given in the past.

The Welsh side got very close to breaking the deadlock, Dan Butler sent in a cross which found Matt who headed the ball which was then scrambled off the line from Scott Davies and onto the post.

Final ten minutes of the 90, thoughts of extra time loomed and the nerves ramped up another level. The tensity increased especially when there were masses of claims for a Newport penalty when Matt went down in the box however an offside decision was given instead.


Newport then went down to ten men in the 88th minute. Following the controversy, a long Tranmere ball went to Norwood, he got in a tangle with O’Brien who held his shirt and then received his second yellow.

Another ball met Norwood, who was inside the Newport area, tried to poke it past the keeper first time but put it the wrong side of the post.

The half ended and the game had to go into extra time with Tranmere having the advancing of an extra man than their opposition on the field.

It was a slow start with not much happening however one moment saw Demetriou lost his footing and fell into Norwood as they both chase a through ball. The referee waved it away, leaving the commentator again sceptical.

END OF FIRST PERIOD EXTRA TIME

Just another 15 minutes left to try and prevent the final from going to penalties.

Newport make their final change as Keanu Marsh-Brown came on for Wilmott and it was almost instant impact fired low down on the right of the box, Davies turns it behind for a corner.

Norwood was close to netting one with Dan Butler trying to hold him off, but the Rovers player’s effort took a slight deflection and looped a few yards wide of the post.

Two minutes left of extra time and Connor Jennings sent the men from the Wirral into dreamland getting on the end of Caprice’s delivery and nodded back across goal.

Tranmere boss Micky Mellon said: “Let’s credit both sets of players. It was a slug-out at the end. I’m just pleased it went our way.

“It’s what football is all about. I’m delighted for Conor Jennings.”

The man himself, Jennings, said: “I’m speechless….. to go back-to-back is a fantastic achievement.”

 

Take a look at fan footage uploaded to social media plus that full time reaction on the next page.

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