Sky Bet League 2
Morecambe 1-1 Newport County
Collins 20 Matt 87
Newport County secured a place in the League 2 play-offs with a late equaliser from Jamille Matt at the Globe Arena on Saturday.
Aaron Collins put the Shrimps in front early in the first half before Matt equalised in the dying moments of the game to send the 800-strong away support wild.
Newport came into the game knowing that a draw may not be enough to secure a play-off spot but Exeter City failed to beat Forest Green Rovers meaning Michael Flynn’s side got a spot.
It was a quiet start to the first half until Morecambe took the lead through Collins in the 20th minute. Steven Old played a long ball over the top and the striker cut through on the left and slotted past the keeper in the bottom-left corner.
10 minutes later, the Shrimps came incredibly close to getting a second when Ritchie Sutton’s header from a corner was just kept out by Joe Day before Old’s rebound hit the bar on its way over.
Newport then came close in the 44th minute when Josh Sheehan had a series of efforts blocked by the legs of keeper Mark Halstead.
Three minutes into the second half, the visitors had an effort through Dan Butler whose volley brought a diving save from Halstead to the left.
In the 65th minute, Morecambe’s Jordan Cranston played through Collins whose shot was saved by the legs of Day.
20 minutes later, Liam Mandeville’s shot just inside the box was kept out by Day.
Newport got an equaliser in the 87th minute when Ade Azeez latched onto the end of a good cross from the right, and Matt was there at the far post to put the ball away.
The Shrimps finished their season 18th on 54 points, while Newport, who finished in seventh on 71 points, have at least another two games to play and they will face Mansfield Town in the semi-finals of the play-offs.
Morecambe: Halstead, Sutton, Old, Lavelle, Conlan, Mendes Gomes (Mandeville 45), Fleming, McKay (Mingoia 78), Cranston, Collins, Oliver (Ellison 80).
Booked: Lavelle, Fleming and Oliver.
Subs not used: Roche, Kenyon, Bennett and Hedley.
Newport County: Day, Poole (McKirdy 74), O’Brien, Demetriou, Butler, Wilmott, Dolan (Azeez 58), Sheehan (Marsh-Brown 86), Bennett, Matt, Amond.
Subs not used: Pipe, Bakinson, Crofts.