Extra-time heartbreak for Forest Green in League Two play-offs

Despite a spirited second leg from Forest Green, a late extra-time Nicky Maynard goal ensured that Newport headed to Wembley to contest the League Two play-off title as they won 5-4 on aggregate.

The innocent New Lawn welcomed backed fans for the first time since December and were treated to an excellent match, despite poor conditions.

Following picking up a red card against Tranmere at the start of the month, Ebou Adams marked his return to starting 11 with a goal. Just seven minutes in, the midfielder opened the scoring by rising the highest in the box and heading home a Nicky Cadden corner.

Just one minute later, Rovers were level in the tie thanks to an excellent Aaron Collins volley inside the Newport box. Defender Baily Cargill found Collins in space with a fantastic cross from deep and the Rovers number 10 was able to calmly slot home from close.

Rovers had two penalty appeals waved away during the first-half. The first, Collins appeared to have been clipped by Tom King but the referee judged the Rovers striker to have dived. The second, Collins once again found his appeals fall on deaf ears following a clash in the box.

Collins, starting the game strongly, nearly added a second just before half-time. He ran clear of the Newport defence down the left-wing but his shot was blocked well and deflected onto the bar.

However, 53 minutes in, Cadden put the home side ahead in the tie. The Scotsman’s deep free kick bounced its way through everyone and somehow found the back of King’s net.

On 71 minutes, veteran midfielder Kevin Ellison levelled the scores in tie with a piece of magic. The 42-year-old dinked his effort from range and saw his speculative shot bounce off the underside of the bar to leave Luke McGee clawing at thin air.

Just five minutes later, substitute Joss Labadie put Newport back ahead in the tie – his deft flick nestled into the bottom-right corner of the net much to the jubilation of the Newport bench.

Three minutes from time, ex-Newport man Jamille Matt came to the rescue for Rovers as he sent the game to extra-time. The Rovers striker was able to coolly flick Odin Bailey’s ball into the bottom corner to make sure of a further half-an-hour of play.

However, right at the death of extra-time, Maynard fired Newport County ahead in the tie and made sure that the South-Wales side will be heading to Wembley.

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