Newport County v Tranmere Rovers: League Two play-off final – live!

25 May 2019 01:55
League Two play-off final updates from the 3pm BST kick-offThe Merseyside spotlight is on Tranmere, says MellonAnd you can email Ben here or tweet him here 2.55pm BST The teams trudge out on to a sun-drenched Wembley turf! We are just the pre-match formalities away from kick-off. Newport and Tranmere were allocated 16,500 tickets apiece, so around 30,000 fans are busy making a racket. 2.51pm BST A couple of stats to get stuck into before the off at Wembley: this is Newport’s 62nd game of the season – only Chelsea, who take on Arsenal in Baku in the Europa League final, will end up playing more; four players in the Tranmere starting lineup, including talisman James Norwood, featured in their previous two trips to Wembley; the team finishing seventh in League Two has gone on to win the play-off final in four of the last seven campaigns. Newport squeezed into seventh on the final day . 2.46pm BST Tranmere manager Micky Mellon talks pre-match. “It’s massive for both clubs, isn’t it?” he says. “First and foremost we just want to get the performance right and hopefully that will be enough to help us to the next level. I think the experience of being here before will definitely help us but we still have to give the performance. We have to go and express ourselves. It should be a good battle.” 2.40pm BST The last time Newport County were at Wembley, they lost to Tottenham in a FA Cup fourth-round replay. That was last year and Tranmere are no strangers to the national stadium either, this their third play-off final in three years. “It is a lot of experience between the two squads at Wembley, which is quite surreal for League Two players,” Flynn says. “They have got a few good players – it is not just about James Norwood. We have to concentrate on what we can do as well.” As for their own 12-match unbeaten run, he says: “[Momentum] can help but Tranmere finished above us in the league so we know they are a team full of quality.” 2.35pm BST Que será, será!When you spot Mike Dean walking down Wembley Way @TranmereRovers 2.23pm BST Some pre-match wisdom, courtesy of the Tranmere chairman Mark Palios. “Ever since, and even before we went down and out of the league, the fans were supportive and I think that’s one of those lessons for any of those clubs that have the unfortunate event of actually getting relegated out of the Football League,” he says. “The fans [will] stick with them, you know they’ll come back these clubs, and it’s a message for everybody that.” Tranmere are the first team to play in the National League play-off final and the League Two play-off final in consecutive seasons. 2.15pm BST Team news news: Jamille Matt is passed fit for Newport, with the 20-goal striker shaking off a leg problem to start alongside Padraig Amond at Wembley. Tranmere manager Micky Mellon also sticks with the same team that did the business in a play-off semi-final victory. There are a couple of 20-year-old talents to keep an eye on at on both benches: Tyreeq Bakinson has made a big impression on loan from Bristol City, while the same can be said for Harvey Gilmour, the winger who joined Tranmere on a permanent deal from Sheffield United in January. 2.03pm BST Newport County: Day; Poole, O’Brien, Demetriou, Butler; Bennett, Sheehan, Labadie, Willmott; Amond, MattSubs: Pipe, Dolan, Marsh-Brown, Azeez, Bakinson, Crofts, McKirdy 1.14pm BST A coachload of Tranmere Rovers fans adorning Mike Dean (Wirral) masks have already filtered through the Wembley turnstiles. Last spotted dancing, quaking and trembling on the Prenton Park railings, proudly pumping both fists aloft, Dean, too, will no doubt again make himself known. For Tranmere, who are a win away from successive promotions, these play-off finals have become rather old hat: this is their third in three years. “He [Dean] has a season ticket, so does his daughter, and they follow us up and down the country,” said manager Micky Mellon. “Isn’t it good that a game of football can do that to somebody?” In James Norwood, Tranmere boast a serial goalscorer. The 28-year-old is one – potentially decisive – strike away from bettering Sergio Agüero’s 32-goal haul in all competitions this season, a feat that would make him the most prolific striker in the country. “I was keeping an eye on how he got on in the FA Cup final,” Norwood said. “There’s lots to admire about him – his finishing prowess, his positioning – but one thing I won’t be doing is copying his silver fox look. I don’t think my thinning barnet could take it. It certainly seems as though the more hair I lose the more goals I score, so I might ask for a skinhead the next time I go to the barbers.” Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian