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Newport County Off To Wembley. . . As Mrs Flynn’s Holiday Plans Bite The Dust

Michael Flynn has apologised to his wife for cutting short their holidays after Newport County made it through to the play-off final at Wembley.

A superb save from goalkeeper Joe Day and five faultless penalties saw County past Mansfield in a shoot-out after the second leg of their League Two play-off semi-final at the One Call Stadium ended goalless after extra-time.

With the teams sharing a 1-1 draw from the first leg, the tie went to penalties before Matt Dolan scored the crucial spot kick.

Now, Flynn has to get his team ready for another trip to Wembley on May 25 to play either Forest Green Rovers or Tranmere.

It also means he has to tell Mrs. Flynn that holiday plans are on hold for a little while yet.

“These players are an absolute joy to work with,” said Flynn.  “I’m very lucky and very proud of them.

“We’re into the final now and the wife won’t be happy as our holiday is cut short for two weeks.

“We practiced penalties yesterday before we left and made sure they all had one until they scored. Even Joe Day scored one.”

Another problem for Flynn will be to find a training ground for the next two weeks. The club currently train at the Dragons Park facility owned by the FAW in Newport, but that may not be available.

Flynn added: “It’s 12 unbeaten now. It’s a fantastic run and I just hope it will be 13 now as it means we’ll be in League One.

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“First of all, we’ve got to find a training pitch. We’re struggling at the moment so we’ll have to call a few favours in.”

Both sides had countless chances to win the game with a combined total of 45 efforts on goal.

But it was Newport’s nerveless display in the shoot-out that got them through after Mansfield’s top scorer Tyler Walker has his penalty saved by Day.

“They were absolutely immense,” added Flynn.

“In the first half we were unbelievable. We should have been three or four up and we missed a fair few chances.

“We’ve got to give Mansfield credit and they came back into the game in the second half. The second half and extra time period was end to end. Whoever scored the first goal was going to win it was as simple as that.

“You start getting a bit edgy, especially when Scott Bennett hits the bar and the good chances we had, but I’ve got belief in my players and staff and I knew we were going to keep going to the end. If it had to go to penalties, then so be it.

“Taking 1,100 fans to Mansfield on a Sunday when it’s live on Sky is a fantastic following. I’m sure we’ll get a lot more at Wembley and I’m absolutely over the moon.”

When it came to penalties the County players were word perfect and Day pulled off a great save to finally separate the two teams.

Goals from Dan Butler and Padraig Amond were matched by Nicky Ajose and CJ Hamilton and then Mickey Demetriou made it 3-2 to the Exiles. Up stepped Mansfield’s Walker, but Day went the right way and made a great save to give his side the advantage.

Regan Poole was next to strike before Mal Benning kept the Stags in it with a penalty that hit the post and went in off Day’s back.

That left Dolan with the chance to win it with the fifth spot kick and he hit the target to send the 1,100 County fans directly behind the goal into raptures.


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