NEWPORT County AFC finally saw off Mansfield Town 5-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Field Mill and a 1-1 draw in the first leg to seal their place in the League Two play-off final. Here are the talking points...

Wembley here we come, again! 

County went 100 years without playing at England’s national stadium, but the final on May 25 will make it four trips in seven years.

So far, the Exiles have lost the FA Trophy final to York City in 2012 and last year’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Tottenham Hotspur. But they won the most important one – the 2013 Conference play-off final against Wrexham.

Michael Flynn and David Pipe both played that day, while Robbie Willmott was an unused substitute. All will be hoping history repeats itself and Pipe could even get his dream finale in what will be his last match as a professional footballer.

Praise from Flitcroft

Mansfield manager David Flitcroft has not endeared himself to Exiles fans with his outbursts after suffering defeat at Rodney Parade in February and the draw in Thursday’s first leg.

After this match he revealed that he had received an apology from the Referee's Association about the “two incidents they got wrong” on Thursday, but he also paid tribute to County’s performance over the 210 minutes of action.

“Massive respect for Newport,” he told the Mansfield Chad. “They gave us one hell of a game here as they did there and I wish them well at Wembley.”

Rovers or Rovers?

Attention now turns to tonight’s other semi-final at the New Lawn where Forest Green Rovers resume their battle with Tranmere Rovers with the winner set to meet Michael Flynn’s men at Wembley on May 25.

Tranmere are 1-0 up from the first leg at Prenton Park after the visitors were reduced to 10 men, and they could set up the John Aldridge/Danny Holmes derby in the final against County.

But Forest Green beat Tranmere home and away in the regular season, winning 3-1 at home in October, and with Newport-born Christian Doidge leading the line they will be confident that they have the firepower to turn things around this evening.

South Wales Argus:

Fan’s plight puts win in perspective

The 1,118 travelling fans provided incredible support for their team, often out-singing the home faithful throughout an enthralling encounter at Field Mill.

They were rewarded as their heroes put everything on the line throughout the 120 minutes of action and then held their nerve in the penalty shootout in front of the amber army.

But that jubilation was quickly tempered by news that one County supporter was taken ill after the match and was taken to hospital after being treated by the Exiles medical staff, police and paramedics.

“We had some sad news that one of our supporters has collapsed and it puts things into perspective,” said Flynn, who ran over to check on the situation after the match.

“It’s brought me back down to earth straightaway and I wish him and his family all the best.”

Read more: Mansfield Town 0 Newport County 0 - match report

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