Manager Micky Mellon praised his side’s character and endeavour after Tranmere Rovers overcame Newport County in the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final to secure promotion at Wembley Stadium.
Connor Jennings’ 119th minute header, deep into extra time, sealed back-to-back promotions for Tranmere Rovers creating a day that will be etched in the memory of all Rovers’ supporters.
The 1-0 victory against Newport County means Tranmere will now compete in League One next season for the first time since 2014.
In a goalless 90 minutes, in which Michael Flynn’s Newport had captain Mark O’Brien sent off in the 89th minute for a foul on Rovers top-scorer James Norwood, the match looked to be heading to penalties before Jennings’ late heroics.
Speaking just before the promotion celebrations began, Mellon was proud of his team as they battled from start to finish to secure a deserved promotion to the third tier of English football.
“Our ability, togetherness and fight throughout the entire match was terrific and we showed our qualities against a difficult opponent,” admitted Mellon.
“A lot of the squad played in the National League last season and I am delighted for the team. There has been a lot of hard work involved to win promotion.
“I expected the game to go to penalties, if I am being honest. Both sets of players deserve an amazing amount of credit, but I am delighted we have won, and we were made to work very hard for it.
“Newport kept fighting, they kept up the pressure with their long throw-ins and set-pieces into the box, but we fought hard for the clean sheet.”
Mellon, who has been in charge as first team manager since 2016, will now go down as one of the most successful managers in the Club’s history.
However, a modest Mellon applauded his group of players and said the praise should be directed their way.
He continued: “They all have fantastic ability, and I am proud of the group. Some of them played non-league football last year and now they will be playing in League One.
“The save by Scott Davies for example from Jamille Matt, it was a gamechanger and if Newport had scored, it would have been a real body blow.
“I really felt that whoever scored the first goal, the other team was going to suffer. We expected a tight and tense affair.”
Mellon concluded with a special mention for match winner, Jennings, who sadly lost his Grandad just before the Play-Offs began.
“I’m so pleased for Connor (Jennings), he has had a tough couple of weeks. Connor unfortunately lost his Grandad just before the Forest Green match, but he wanted to play.
“Connor is a tough cookie and it’s what football is all about, he goes and scores the winning goal in a final to win promotion.”
A full interview with Micky is available to watch on iFollow. Please CLICK HERE to subscribe and watch.