Tranmere Rovers legend David Higgins was proud as his former side secured a back-to-back promotion up to Sky Bet League One following Saturday’s extra-time 1-0 Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final victory over 10-man Newport County at Wembley Stadium.
Following a goalless 90 minutes, Connor Jennings proved to be the hero for Micky Mellon’s Wirral outfit under the Wembley arch in the final minute of extra-time, meeting Jake Caprice’s inviting cross from the right to plant an unmarked header beyond goalkeeper Joe Day from close-range.
Jennings’ winner came after Newport captain Mark O’Brien was sent off by referee Ross Joyce for bringing down James Norwood in the closing minutes of normal time.
And Rovers’ numerical advantage proved decisive with Jennings’ winner sending them back to the third-tier for the first time since 2014.
Higgins, 57, was delighted to see the Club, who he spent a decade with between 1987-1997, achieve a second-successive promotion-winning campaign.
He said: “It’s fantastic, everyone thought we had a great chance and we’re in League One, soon enough Micky Mellon has achieved what he’s set out to do.
“It’s an amazing achievement. It took us a long time to get out of the Vanarama National League, players were still finding their feet in League Two, they have gone well above that and achieved promotion again.
“There are so many well-known clubs who have gone further down the league than the National League, it could have gone either way but Mark and Nicola Palios both spent a hell of a lot of time sorting that five-year plan out.
“It was great cross by Caprice and a great header from Connor, they only had 10-men so we should have forced it more but there was so much nerves and so much to play for it was extra-time and a great time to score, we didn’t let them have too many chances, Scotty had one good save to make and we thoroughly deserved it.”
The former Rovers defender went on to praise the support of the SWA, who had travelled down to the capital to cheer on Micky’s lads to victory.
He said: “They (the SWA) were fantastic, they were absolutely amazing, you could hear them all over the stadium but afterwards it was amazing, it was very vibrant and next year hopefully we can up our attendances.”