It’s been an enthralling week of play-off action, and we’ve now reached the final stages.
After 48 games of hard work, it all comes down to this. Newport County face Morecambe. One leaves with the elation of promotion, while the other remains in the fourth tier, knowing that all their hard work amounted to nothing.
In case you need reminding, here is a recap of the semi-finals.
Newport County 5-4 Forest Green Rovers
Nothing – and we mean NOTHING – quite lives up to the rollercoaster that is the EFL play-offs. This tie epitomised exactly that.
The first leg was fairly standard. Newport won 2-0 with goals from Matt Dolan and Lewis Collins.
The second leg was absolutely nuts. Forest Green knew they needed to win by at least two goals to stand a chance of reaching the final and got off to the perfect start.
Eight minutes in, they had levelled the aggregate score thanks to finishes by Ebou Adams and Aaron Collins. And, when Nicky Cadden made it 3-0 in the second half, they seemed on course for a memorable comeback.
But there was still far more drama to come. 42-year-old Kevin Ellison scored a beauty for Newport to draw them back level, and Joss Labadie struck again for the visitors to put them back ahead in the tie.
With fewer than five minutes remaining, Jamille Matt made it 4-2 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate, sending the game to extra time.
It appeared to be on course for a penalty shootout, but up stepped veteran forward Nicky Maynard, who snatched a winner for Newport in the 119th minute. Drama.
Morecambe 3-2 Tranmere Rovers
Newport will be met by Morecambe (who finished fourth in the League Two table) in the League Two final after they saw off Tranmere Rovers over two legs.
An early goal by Nathaniel Knight-Percival set them on their way in the away fixture, but they were quickly pegged back by Peter Clarke.
Just before half-time, they managed to retake the lead through Liam McAlinden, and that’s how the game stayed.
An early Aaron Wildig finish made it 3-1 on aggregate, putting them well on their way to the final.
James Vaughan netted for Tranmere in the second half to threaten a comeback, but they could not find an equaliser.