Morecambe manager's tribute to the club's history makers
Morecambe boss Derek Adams was thrilled after watching his side book their place in League One for the first time.
Carlos Mendes Gomes’ penalty in the second period of extra time gave the Shrimps a 1-0 win against Newport County AFC in their play-off final at Wembley.
A game of few chances saw Scot Bennett head off target after Shrimps keeper Kyle Letheren missed one of Mickey Demetriou’s long throws.
He atoned with saves from Liam Shephard and Josh Sheehan, while Joss Labadie also spurned an opportunity to break the deadlock.
At the other end, Shepard cleared Liam Gibson’s shot and Ryan Cooney saw an effort beaten away by Newport’s Tom King.
Adams said: “I’m obviously delighted. To have the long season we’ve had, to come to Wembley, win a play-off final - there’s no better way to do it.
“Today was all about determination and strength of character. It wasn’t the best game of football.
“It’s a difficult place to come to, the pitch is slow, but we’re pleased to get ourselves into League One.”
Promotion caps a stellar 18 months in charge for Adams, whose first league game in November 2019 came with the Shrimps second-bottom of League Two.
Having secured survival in the curtailed 2019/20 campaign, this time around saw them equal their best finishing position of fourth and with a club-record EFL points tally of 78.
Victory also helped some of the Morecambe players and staff - Adams included - banish the memories of previous Wembley heartache.
Adams said: “Where we have put ourselves, from being at the bottom of the table with the lowest wage bill, shows a great deal of character.
“That’s from the players and the staff as well, they have helped get us to this situation.”
It means the Shrimps will welcome clubs including Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic to the Mazuma Stadium next season.
Looking ahead to that is another task for another day as Morecambe’s players and staff celebrated their promotion on Monday evening.
“Certainly not tonight!” Adams said after being asked when planning starts for next season.
“It’s one of those things we’ve got to enjoy because, in the past, we haven’t enjoyed the occasion - but I’ll enjoy promotion and the players will.”
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