League Two play-off final: Newport County boss Mike Flynn demands VAR

The penalty
Morecambe were awarded a penalty when Ryan Haynes (right) was ajudged to have fouled John O’Sullivan (centre)

Newport County manager Mike Flynn has called for VAR to be used in play-off finals after his side’s controversial League Two final defeat.

The Exiles thought they should have been awarded a penalty in the first half and were aghast at the decision to award Morecambe a spot kick that gave the Shrimps an extra-time winner.

“It is two absolutely terrible decisions from the referee that have cost us,” he told BBC Sport Wales.

“It’s why we need VAR for these games.”

Newport have now lost the 2019 and 2021 League Two play-off finals with refereeing decisions key in both games.

Morecambe’s winning goal came from a penalty decision that appeared questionable in terms of contact and being in the penalty area, while Newport saw an arguably stronger claim for a penalty waved away by referee Bobby Madley in the first half.

“I’ve seen our penalty claim three times to make sure I am right in talking to the press and not clutching at straws, but it is a penalty, 100%,” Flynn said.

“We have been robbed today.

“With our penalty claim, the goalkeeper comes and misses the ball completely. It is a hideous decision by the referee.

“For their penalty, if it was a foul it was outside the area, but I am not even sure it was a foul.

“It was a terrible decision. I am sure we will get a comment of ‘sorry’ in a few weeks time, but that doesn’t help us.”

The Newport boss says there is no excuse to not use VAR in games staged at Wembley.

“There is far too much riding on it, I’ve personally had two chances of promotion as a manager and it has been undone by poor decisions,” he added.

“It’s a chance to go up, earn more money, for the fans to get to go to Sunderland, for example, and it’s ludicrous not to have VAR.

“They say it is in fairness to the competition as we don’t have it all season, but that is a cop out.

“But nothing will be done, the same as two years ago.”

Flynn’s opposite number, Morecambe boss Derek Adams said his side deserved the spot kick.

“I thought it was a penalty kick. Our player gets across their defender and he’s lucky not to get sent off or booked,” Adams said.

“It was a clear penalty. You only have to look over the season. Newport had played against us with 10 players twice and won twice.

“Eleven versus 11, we always knew that we would have a very good opportunity and sometimes you get what you deserve and today that happened.”

‘We need to sit down and talk’

Worryingly for Exiles fans, Flynn also could not guarantee he will still be Newport manager next season, despite having a year remaining on his contract.

“I have a year left, they have employed a sporting director (not yet announced by the club) so I need to sit down and find out what direction the club are going in,” he said.

“I can’t guarantee 100% I will be here next season. A lot of things have gone on behind the scenes that I have not been happy with but I have kept quiet.

“We need to sit down and have a conversation, things need to be ironed out.

“I love this club more than anything, but it might be that there are two different ways the club is going.

“We will sit down. The emotions are high now. I have another year left though and I am someone who is honourable.”

BBC News