League Two - Play-offs - 2nd Leg
MorecambeMorecambe1TranmereTranmere Rovers1

Morecambe 1-1 Tranmere Rovers (3-2 agg): Shrimps reach first League Two play-off final

Aaron Wildig
Aaron Wildig opened the scoring in the second leg with his 10th goal of the season

Morecambe booked a first EFL play-off final as they held Tranmere to a 1-1 draw to complete a 3-2 aggregate win.

James Vaughan headed against the bar for Rovers shortly before Liam McAlinden teed up Aaron Wildig to stroke the hosts ahead.

Rovers levelled the second leg when David Nugent headed a corner goalwards and Vaughan helped it over the line.

Goalkeeper Kyle Letheren saved Manny Monthe's powerful header as the Shrimps withstood a late onslaught to progress.

The Shrimps, looking to reach the third tier for the first time in their 101-year history, will meet Forest Green Rovers or Newport County in the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Monday, 31 May.

Rovers, in their fourth play-off campaign in five seasons, applied concerted second-half pressure, but missed out on a second trip to Wembley of the season following their EFL Trophy defeat by Sunderland.

They had dominated the first leg but lost 2-1 after two sucker-punches, and the Shrimps again showed their clinical side to move further ahead after nine minutes.

Tranmere were inches away from levelling the semi-final when Vaughan's diving header clipped the top of the bar, but less than a minute later they trailed 3-1 on aggregate.

A superb cushioned through ball from McAlinden, who provided an assist and a goal in the first leg, played in Wildig to guide a finish into the bottom corner.

Only Peter Clarke's sliding challenge prevented Yann Songo'o doubling the lead from close range, and from the resulting corner goalkeeper Joe Murphy tipped Sam Lavelle's header over the bar.

The visitors were frustrated by a well-organised Morecambe backline, but went close just before the break when Letheren turned a Paul Lewis snapshot around the post at full stretch.

Needing a response at half-time, Tranmere interim manager Ian Dawes - in only his second game in charge - sent on former England striker Nugent for the second half, and his header gave Vaughan the simplest of his 22 goals this season despite home claims for offside.

Rovers peppered the Morecambe box with crosses, but roared on by 1,500 noisy fans, the hosts held out to reach Wembley for the first time since winning promotion to the Football League via the play-offs in 2007.

Morecambe boss Derek Adams:

"We got the all-important first goal and it looked like we would go on and win the game convincingly, but Tranmere had other ideas and became much more direct and we had to deal with their threat.

"We dealt with it well overall and it is a tremendous win for us and fantastic for the club to get through to the play-off final on aggregate.

"We were disappointed to miss out on the final day of the season, but this is a just reward for the effort the lads have put in all season and I'm so proud of everyone at the club."

Tranmere interim manager Ian Dawes told BBC Radio Merseyside:

"I'm angry. It's something that we addressed going into the game about starting with desire, hunger and aggression, and the players never did that.

"They wanted it more than us, especially in the first 20-25 minutes and by that stage we were behind and had to react to it. It was unacceptable.

"The minimum requirement to be a Tranmere Rovers player is to represent the fans. They want to see the players play for the shirt and the badge with hunger and desire, and I'll be angry if I were the fans today watching, in the first 25 minutes in particular.

"We get the goal back and you think 'come on let's lift it again', but they managed the game better than we did then."

Line-ups

Morecambe

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Letheren
  • 21CooneyBooked at 76mins
  • 5Lavelle
  • 4Knight-Percival
  • 22Gibson
  • 24Songo'o
  • 19McAlindenSubstituted forLyonsat 82'minutes
  • 10WildigSubstituted forKenyonat 88'minutes
  • 8Diagouraga
  • 11Mendes Gomes
  • 9Stockton

Substitutes

  • 2Mellor
  • 6Davis
  • 12Halstead
  • 14Kenyon
  • 15Lyons
  • 17Leitch-Smith
  • 18Pringle

Tranmere

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

  • 13Murphy
  • 2O'ConnorSubstituted forKhanat 45'minutes
  • 26Clarke
  • 6MontheBooked at 47mins
  • 3RidehalghSubstituted forMacDonaldat 64'minutes
  • 8Spearing
  • 7MorrisSubstituted forNugentat 45'minutes
  • 22Lewis
  • 19Feeney
  • 11Blackett-TaylorSubstituted forWooleryat 64'minutes
  • 9VaughanBooked at 81mins

Substitutes

  • 4Nelson
  • 14Woolery
  • 15Crawford
  • 17Khan
  • 18MacDonald
  • 28Nugent
  • 30Jones
Referee:
Thomas Bramall
Attendance:
1,558

Match Stats

Home TeamMorecambeAway TeamTranmere
Possession
Home34%
Away66%
Shots
Home13
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away8
Fouls
Home9
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Morecambe 1, Tranmere Rovers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Morecambe 1, Tranmere Rovers 1.

  3. Post update

    Calum MacDonald (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Cooney (Morecambe).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Peter Clarke (Tranmere Rovers).

  6. Post update

    Alex Kenyon (Morecambe) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Emmanuel Monthe (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Cole Stockton (Morecambe).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Morecambe. Alex Kenyon replaces Aaron Wildig.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Kaiyne Woolery (Tranmere Rovers).

  11. Post update

    Ryan Cooney (Morecambe) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Peter Clarke (Tranmere Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Liam Feeney with a cross following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Liam Gibson.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Toumani Diagouraga.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Morecambe. Brad Lyons replaces Liam McAlinden.

  16. Booking

    James Vaughan (Tranmere Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Foul by James Vaughan (Tranmere Rovers).

  18. Post update

    Kyle Letheren (Morecambe) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kaiyne Woolery (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jay Spearing.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Emmanuel Monthe (Tranmere Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Liam Feeney with a cross.

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