Action: Forest Green Rovers v Tranmere Rovers. Pic: Getty Images.

Newport County Face Merseyside Challenge At Wembley

Forest Green Rovers 1, Tranmere Rovers 1

Tranmere win 2-1 on aggregate

Former Forest Green Rovers hit man James Norwood wrecked hopes of a Severnside derby in the League Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium.

Norwood scored for Tranmere in their 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers at the New Lawn.

That earned Tranmere a 2-1 aggregate win and they will play Newport County in the final at Wembley Stadium.

Former England schoolboy international Norwood, now aged 26, netted his 32nd goal of the season.

Forest Green finished with 10 players after having Carl Winchester sent off for a second bookable offence.

Joseph Mills opened the scoring for Rovers with a well-directed first half header before a Norwood volley levelled the scores.

Tranmere moved to within one win of achieving back-to-back promotions. Micky Mellon’s side, who went up through the National League play-offs last term, will face Newport County at Wembley on Saturday, May 25 for a place in the third tier.

Mellon’s team will be going to Wembley for the third year in a row.

Tranmere are bidding to return to League One for the first time since their relegation in 2014, which was followed by another relegation and then three years in non-league.

Tranmere had the advantage of an extra man for about 100 minutes over the two games, with Gavin Gunning shown a straight red card early in the first leg and then Winchester’s second-half dismissal on Monday.

Wirral-based Premier League referee Mike Dean – a Tranmere fan – was among the travelling supporters at The New Lawn, enjoying the moment as Mellon’s men celebrated a third play-off semi-final victory in as many seasons.

Forest Green Rovers: Ward, Shephard, Collins (McCoulsky 81), Rawson, Winchester, Grubb (James 70), Doidge, Brown, McGinley, Mills (capt), Mondal (Williams 45). Unused subs: Montgomery, Pearce, Digby, Godwin-Malife

Tranmere Rovers XI: Davies (capt), Ridehalgh, Nelson, Monthe, Harris, Norwood, Jennings, Caprice, Perkins Morris (Gilmour 66), Banks. Unused subs: Pilling, Buxton, McNulty, Mullin, Smith, Dagnall

Referee: Eddie Ilderton

Attendance:  4492 (1188 away)

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