There were scenes at Globe Arena as one club books a valuable place in League Two playoff final – going one game from making history.
Morecambe, who finished 4th, welcomed Tranmere Rovers, placed 8th, were aiming to maintain their one-goal advantage from the first leg and head to Wembley a week on Monday the 31st of May.
Goals from Knight-Percival and McAlinden gave the Shrimps a huge boost, they knew that a draw or win against the Super White Army on Sunday would be enough to send them through.
It was a cagey start to the match with the crowd really on Tranmere’s backs whenever they got the ball.
Liam Gibson put a speculative cross in for Morecambe but it sailed over the crossbar and out for a goal kick for the visitors.
There are vocal appeals for a handball against Tranmere’s Peter Clarke as he slid in to stop a Morecambe attack at goal.
In the process of Liam McAlinden heading towards the box on the break, visiting keeper Joe Murphy couldn’t quite kick it clear and Clarke look to handle as he fell to ground.
Tranmere come within inches of getting back on level terms on the 9th minute.
Liam Ridehalgh put in a lovely ball from deep as the visitors broke up field and James Vaughan headed the ball against the post.
Moments after James Vaughan hit the post for Tranmere, the hosts got up the other end and scored. (3-1 Morecambe on aggregate)
Aaron Wildig scuffed a low, rolled shot past Tranmere keeper Joe Murphy and Morecambe had a two-goal cushion on aggregate!
Moments after James Vaughan hits the bar fro Tranmere, Morecambe score at the other end through Aaron Wildig!
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— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 23, 2021
Goalscorer Aaron Wildig sent a lovely corner into the box for the hosts and his Morecambe teammate Sam Lavelle got a head onto it.
However Tranmere keeper Joe Murphy pulled off a great save, tipping it over the bar with a quickfire save.
The corner that then followed was put just wide by Yann Songo’o as Morecambe pile on the pressure.
The temp then changed since the goal. The hosts won a free-kick after James Vaughan was judged to have put a high arm in an aerial challenge for the ball with Yann Songo’o.
Morecambe conceded another free-kick for a cheap foul soon after.
Tranmere started to dominate possession but there were plenty of long balls that Morecambe were doing well to deal with with half time approaching.
Tranmere won a corner as they try to force what could be a vital first goal in their pursuit of a comeback.
Liam Feeney sent it into the box but it was well blocked away by Morecambe before the visitors could work a challenge at goal.
Tranmere eventually work it back into the box with a long ball but James Vaughan couldn’t quite get onto it before it sailed out for a goal kick.
Cole Stockton put in a lovely swinging cross into the box with his Morecambe teammate Aaron Wildig rushing in to get on the end it. However it was too heavy and out it went for a goal kick.
Carlos Mendes Gomes put in a fierce shot from outside the box as the Shrimps search to settle this game off before half-time.
However Joe Murphy was wise to it as he collected the ball with ease.
Morecambe wasted a chance on the 49th minute to try and attack, sending a free-kick that followed Manny Monthe’s yellow card by striking it straight into the wall.
Tranmere finally got themselves right back into the game, James Vaughan finding the net on the 53rd minute.
Tranmere won a corner which was tipped away by Morecambe keeper Kyle Letheren and out for another corner to the visitors.
It was sent into a crowded box and out to David Nugent who hit the ball goalbound and it then met James Vaughan who only just managed to tap it in on the line for his 22nd goal of the campaign.
GAME ON! ⚽️
Tranmere equalise as James Vaughan bundles it over the line for his 22nd goal of the season. 3-2 on aggregate now!
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— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 23, 2021
A Tranmere free-kick was then dealt with by the hosts and there’s was a massive roar from the 1,500 in attendance as they win a throw-in.
Morecambe dealing well with the danger and helped on by they’re loud fanbase in the stands on the 63rd minute.
Toumani Diagouraga let fly with an audacious shot for Morecambe which, had it not picked up a deflection for a corner, would probably have gone nearer the corner flag than the goal.
The corner came to nothing as Tranmere blocked it away before launching it up-field.
Following a great save from the Morecambe keeper, Tranmere eventually have the ball in the net but it came after a controversial incident involving the Shrimps’ Kyle Letheren diving low to collect the ball.
James Vaughan tried to get onto it and divert it into the goal after Letheren spills a Tranmere shot and the Rovers striker looked to put his boot in on his face. The home crowd shout ‘off off off’ but only a yellow was dished out. (1-1, 3-2 Morecambe on aggregate with 10 minutes to go)
Following a flurry of chances and some substitutions, Morecambe held on, with the final whistle blowing, fans cheering at knowing they are on their way to Wembley for a chance of their club heading to League One for the first time in their history.
Tranmere will stay in League Two for another season after this result.
But what a story for Morecambe and what a job Derek Adams has done as they reach Wembley.
Morecambe have never played in English football’s third tier. But they are now 90 minutes away from that being a reality.
Morecambe midfielder Toumani Diagouraga told Sky Sports:
“It’s unbelievable. We’ve worked hard all season. We thought we could have got top three but it wasn’t to be.
“Hopefully we can do it at Wembley and go up that way.
“We can sit back or press high. We decided to sit back in the first half. We’re going to enjoy it today. It was great to see fans back today.”
— Sky Bet League Two (@SkyBetLeagueTwo) May 23, 2021
Fans reacted at the scenes as the club books a place in the League Two playoff final – one game from making history…
ON MORECAMBE’S TWEET:
@PaulAtk52540619: Congratulations Morecambe and Derek Adam’s… now win it and get promoted..a marvellous achievement
@barlow_cr: Well played Morecombe. I hope my club is taking note. This is what a well ran club looks like.
@andrews_lorna: Well done DA and the team. Hope to see you in L1 next season
@JaneLedsom: Love playoffs when we’re not involved! Well done #morecambe Eric would be proud! Enjoy Wemberrrley!
@SwfcCal: We will hopefully see you next season lads, best of luck!
@ajmarks88: Good luck in the final Morecambe! Hope you go on to win it. A well organised team.
@lovejoy_77: Deserved it and wanted it more, good luck in the final
@Another_Roger: Well done by your lads. As a Tranmere fan I am of course disappointed. But I respect your hard work and sharpness in the box. Good luck in the final at Wembley!
@PHcufc: Congratulations Morecambe. I knew you would do it. Go to Wembley and you can beat either of the other 2 teams. See you in league 1
@_karlmurray4: Well done, out player us. We couldn’t brake yous down over two games! Good luck in the final
Fans continued to react during the scenes as the club books a place in the League Two playoff final – one game from making history…
ON TRANMERE’S TWEET:
@WillCharlton13: We have to play fucking Sutton next year, cheers lads
@Will_ONeill: Terribly weak division this season. Appointing Jacko was a huge mistake, so was Hill. And our January business was awful. Owners NOT exempt from criticism here. Next managerial appointment vital. Far too much dead wood here. Don’t wanna see many of those players next year.
@WirralBikers: Well there’s only one person to blame for Tranmere not getting into Div 1 this season and that is Hill his team selections and tactics for the last 8 games as Manager was absolutely abysmal. Hopefully Hawes and Parky will be allowed to continue in charge for the new season
@Myles_Trfc: Thank fuck that joke of a season is over, embarrassing for 70% of it
@LHoyle_: Two very poor runs under Jacko and Hill cost us this season. Dawes and Parkey did their best when they had to. Big summer ahead, we have to be more consistent next season. Be a big turnaround of players I’m sure.
@Gidsentinel: Cheers admin, put up with a lot
@PGMC13: Great turn around by Dawes at halftime with changes made, we really gave them a game in the second half, just unlucky in the end… Palios is duty bound to appoint him as manager after this…
@dsw544: Give Dawes the job, at least we had more fight these last two games.
@PoshPenguino: Terrible start to the season and the shite end of season form cost us. Should have gotten automatically promoted. Onto next season
@BwfcLiam: Hahahhahahahhaha R U OKAY HUNS???
@jack_w03: “But at least we’ve got the we beat Bolton twice trophy”
@Nevinlegend: Just have to win the league next season.
@AdiSneakerFreak: Utter shambles. Throughly out gamed over two legs by a very average Morecambe side. Hopeless at the back, clueless up front. A lot of work to do over the summer. Not good enough.
@WillFiddaman: Can be disappointed today but our season was ruined by a manager from Bolton who didn’t give a shite and 2 poor managerial issues. Thank you Dawes for the efforts. Unlucky lads
@AlexWright352: Remember guys you beat us twice. Congratulations on another season of league two football x
@SyBoyce83: Didn’t deserve it over the course of the season, need to regroup get some committed players and go again next season. Important managerial appointment coming next
— nath (@nathjnzy) May 23, 2021