Morecambe's players are challenged to maintain calm in today's play-off final

Derek Adams wants his Morecambe players to keep their cool as they stand one win away from a first appearance in League One.

By Gavin Browne
Monday, 31st May 2021, 8:00 am

The Shrimps meet Newport County AFC at Wembley this afternoon (3pm) in the League Two promotion play-off final.

It will be the third time they have met this season with Newport having done the double over Adams’ squad.

Both games saw red cards for Morecambe players, Stephen Hendrie sent off at Rodney Parade and skipper Sam Lavelle likewise in the return at the Mazuma Stadium.

Sam Lavelle is one of two Morecambe players to have been sent off against Newport County AFC this season

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Hendrie’s dismissal gave Newport the penalty from which they won 2-1, while Lavelle’s exit came with the match at 1-1 and left Morecambe playing with 10 men for almost an hour on their way to a 3-1 defeat.

Adams said: “We had been well in the games and, if it was 11 against 11, we could have done well.

“Sam’s (red card), we felt it wasn’t a sending off after seeing the footage.

“The one with Stephen, that was for a second yellow card and that was something that allowed them to win the game.

“You do find people will wind each other up or try things on, so it’s important we keep our heads.”

This afternoon’s game is a battle of fourth against fifth in the final League Two table for 2020/21.

The Shrimps missed out on automatic promotion by a point, finishing five clear of the other sides in the play-offs.

While they got the better of Tranmere Rovers over two legs, Newport claimed victory over Forest Green Rovers in an eventful encounter.

After winning the first leg 2-0, Newport then found themselves 3-0 down on the night after 53 minutes of the return meeting.

Former Shrimp Kevin Ellison then netted as Newport scored twice, only for Forest Green to force extra time by making it 4-2 late on.

Then, with a minute left before penalties, Newport snatched a third goal to make it a 4-3 defeat on the night but a 5-4 win on aggregate.

“It was very exciting and unbelievable at times,” Adams said.

“You didn’t know which way the game was going to go because Forest Green put themselves in an unbelievable position but, at the end of the day, Newport scored late on and it was a great advert for League Two football.

“I think it will be a bit different on Monday but, hopefully, we have the lion’s share of the chances on goal and come out victorious.”

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