Football Tips: Drama on the menu in our 3 best bets for L2 Morecambe v Newport final

Our tipster Colin Harvey searches for the three best bets in what could be an attritional affair at Wembley on Monday.


* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Morecambe and Newport were separated by five points, one position in the league, a soft border and 229 miles by road. But, in many ways, these clubs are two peas in a pod. Both are your archetypical League Two sides and both have one thing on their mind this weekend; promotion.

The Shrimps and The Exiles keep it simple and always aim to work off a platform of defensive solidarity. Set pieces are key and nothing is left to chance at the back, if you know what I mean. This isn’t going to be the most easy-on-the-eye final this weekend, but it was the one we were always going to get in League Two.


Morecambe saw off Tranmere 3-2 on aggregate on their way to Wembley and Newport snuck past Forest Green 5-4 in a truly pulsating semi final which was decided by a 119th minute extra time winner and featured a sublime 25-yard Kevin Ellison lob. It never felt like Derek Adams’ Shrimps were going to lose to Tranmere while Newport had to dig deep to get past FGR via a barn-burning 4-3 loss on Sunday night.

I’m not expecting such fireworks here, but there is a fascinating storyline as EFL stalwart, mental health champion and Morecambe legend Ellison goes up against his former club and the manager who froze him out at the Mazuma Stadium in what could be his last match as a professional footballer. Strap yourselves in, here’s your three best bets for the League Two playoff final on Sunday.

Monday 3pm: Morecambe v Newport
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Safe Bet: Under 2.5 Goals

First things first, I don’t think there’s much chance that we see Over 2.5 Goals within the 90 minutes of this game. These are two of the best-drilled clubs in the division and this one’s going to go right to the wire.

Unders has landed in nine of County’s last 11 games, with a 4-0 win over the hopeless Scunthorpe and that amazing semi final second leg last time out being the exceptions. For Morecambe, it’s clicked in six of their last 11, but The Shrimps battered Scunny, the relegated Grimsby, and 18th-placed Oldham in that run which also included their 2-1 first leg win over Tranmere.

Morecambe can run riot against lesser sides but Newport certainly do not fit into that category. Nobody overruns Newport and this is going to be cagier than Joe Exotic’s zoo. Under 2.5 Goals is your safest bet here.

Value Play: Newport To Win

It could be a grim watch but I do think Newport will triumph inside the 90. They relish the big occasion, as their numerous FA Cup exploits prove, and rarely make mistakes. I think this game is going to be decided on who makes the fewest.

That’s not to say I think Morecambe are calamitous, far from it, it’s just that if it’s tight going into the final 30 minutes Newport will bring on Kevin Ellison and it’s nailed-on that he’s going to score the winner and replicate his ‘celebration’ towards Shrimps boss Adams in injury time. Newport to Win is my value play here.

Long Shot: Kevin Ellison to Score Last

And to the main event, our long shot that feels like a banker. As mentioned, Morecambe favourite Kevin Ellison was unceremoniously frozen out the Mazuma Stadium by the abrasive Adams after a nine-year spell with the Lancashire club last season.

Ellison had pretty much given up on football last summer and was moving into Civvy Street before Newport offered him one last hurrah in the shape of a 12-month contract. And boy has he taken it. Ellison made waves in the lower leagues with his provocative celebration towards Adams after scoring in County’s 3-1 win over their playoff final opponents back in March. Look it up.

“He disrespected me, I don’t like him, that’s how it goes,” Ellison said after the match. “I won’t paper over cracks. I knew something was going to happen today, I had a feeling, and I’m more than happy to do that celebration I don’t care what anyone says.”

Well, I have a feeling we’re going to see it re-enacted on the most gloriously inappropriate stage on Monday – the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium. Ellison will come off the bench, whatever happens in this game, and I think there’s a good chance the fired-up 42-year-old has one last trick up his sleeve. Your long shot is Kevin Ellison to Score Last in this game and I suspect it might just be the winner.

Tips for Morecambe v Newport

Safe Bet: Under 2.5 Goals
Value Play: Morecambe to Win
Long Shot: Kevin Ellison to Score last

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.


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