Tranmere Rovers v Newport County: Mellon celebrates as Flynn rues lack of VAR

Connor Jennings of Tranmere Rovers celebrates with James Norwood
Connor Jennings celebrates with James Norwood as Tranmere secure promotion

Tranmere manager Mickey Mellon paid tribute to his side after they secured back-to-back play-off final success at Wembley with a last-gasp winner.

Connor Jennings' 119th minute header broke Newport hearts at Wembley.

"The togetherness and the fight sees us through anything, eight or nine of my team played in the Conference National last season," Mellon told BBC Sport.

Newport boss Michael Flynn praised Tranmere, but said he was angry that VAR was not in use at Wembley.

'The players deserve enormous credit'

Tranmere were promoted for the second season in succession as Wembley once again proved a happy hunting ground for the boys from Birkenhead.

Mellon feels his players deserve extra credit having earned League Two promotion at the first time of asking.

"It was a tight game, probably how I expected it to go; both sets of players deserve enormous credit," he said.

"Newport make it very, very difficult for you.

"This group have been together a long time.

"We are absolutely delighted; there has been a lot of hard work coming our way and I am so proud of the players."

Mellon also revealed winning goal scorer Jennings played in the contest despite the recent death of his grandfather.

"It shows his character," he added.

'A big decision has absolutely killed us'

Mike Flynn reacts after Jamille Matt goes down in the penalty area against Tranmere Rovers at Wembley
Mike Flynn reacts after Jamille Matt goes down in the penalty area

Newport boss Michael Flynn praised Tranmere, but admitted his anger at the lack of use of video technology.

The Exiles had two penalty appeals turned down, with Emmanuel Monthe appearing to bring down Newport striker Jamille Matt on 85 minutes.

"First off I want to congratulate Tranmere, before I go on and say what I need to say," Flynn told BBC Sport Wales.

"Tranmere have had a great season and credit to them.

"But we are at the home of football, Wembley, we have the equipment, we have full time referees and today a big decision has absolutely killed us.

"It was a stonewall penalty and I cannot believe it wasn't given. That is my frustration.

"It was a 100% penalty for the foul on Jamille Matt and I have seen it back, the TV were saying it was a penalty as well.

"The referee said there was a touch, but it wasn't enough. But it was a very poor decision and I would rather they hold their hands up and say 'I got it wrong'.

"It is a play-off final with these technology improvements… you can't get it wrong in the play-off final, it is not a Mickey Mouse game.

"And we are at Wembley. I hope for the next couple of play-off games they bring VAR in, you wouldn't want that to cost someone a promotion.

"I am not just here to blast the referee, I don't do that. I am being as honest as I can be with you.

"We have the facilities at Wembley, they want to play the game here, what is the point in having it here if they don't use the facilities we have?

"It is state of the art at this stadium and yet they didn't use the technology, I don't understand it."

Flynn admitted he is now likely to lose some players to clubs higher up the pyramid with 12 players out of contract at the end of June.

"My team gave us absolutely everything they had, they were fantastic… I can't ask for any more," he said.

"I will lose players, it is inevitable; I am not happy about it, they are some of our best players, but that's reality."

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