Morecambe’s unlikely tilt at promotion was given a boost after they took control of their League Two play-off tie with Tranmere.
Derek Adams’ side sealed a 2-1 win at Prenton Park – a slender but potentially crucial advantage heading into the second leg.
The Shrimps have never played in the third tier but they take a commanding lead thanks to some unorthodox finishes.
Tranmere, backed by over 3,000 vocal fans, started brightly but it was the visitors who went in front early on. Nathaniel Knight-Percival bundled in from a few yards out after Tranmere failed to clear their lines.
But the hosts weren’t behind for long; veteran skipper Peter Clarke produced a bullet header to restore parity barely four minutes later.
Rovers were then the team on top but after failing to make the breakthrough they were left to rue conceding against the run of play.
Liam McAlinden reacted quickest to Cole Stockton’s centre and got it over the line via a scruffy finish.
Tranmere toiled after the restart but could only fashion half-chances, whilst Morecambe defended stoutly.
Despite the match having a bit of needle, and even though eight minutes were added on, Morecambe held on to ensure they take a narrow lead back to the Mazuma Stadium.
Adams’ side, who were only promoted to the Football League for the first time in 2007, are now eyeing up a first-ever crack at the third tier.
It’s even more remarkable considering their recent struggles near the bottom of the EFL. They finished third-bottom in two of the last three seasons but have propelled themselves up the table this term.
The second leg takes place on Sunday at 12.30pm, with the Forest Green-Newport tie kicking off at 6.30pm that day.
The Wembley final is on Bank Holiday Monday, May 31 at 3pm.
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