Grimsby 3-0 Newport

Alan Julian

Newport County will return to Blundell Park in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs after defeat by Grimsby.

The Exiles, who had already secured third place, were 3-0 down to the Mariners by half-time.

Goalkeeper Alan Julian was beaten by a long-range free-kick by Jamie Devitt, a deflected shot by Andi Thanoj's and Liam Hearn's superb strike.

The Welsh side will return to Blundell Park for the play-off first leg on Wednesday, 24 April.

This was Grimsby's first home win in the league since February.

County's defeat means they will not face fellow Welsh side Wrexham in the play-offs semi-finals but does set up the prospect of an all-Welsh play-off final at Wembley.

Manager Justin Edinburgh made several changes for his side's final game of the season, knowing they had already booked themselves a play-off semi-final spot.

He would have been disappointed by the manner of his side's defeat to Grimsby, but County are still in the race for promotion back to the Football League.

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Win sets us up for play-offs - Hurst

Grimsby Town joint-manager Paul Hurst tells BBC Radio Humberside:

"I'm delighted with the performance, the attitude of the players to get that victory. We know that it's going to be a different Newport side that we're going to face in the two games but we asked our players to do a job and that's what we have to focus on and to a man they did that.

"You can only look after your own team and club and I think we've set ourselves up nicely for those two games.

"We need to make sure we don't put too much pressure on the players because at the same time I'm pretty sure they will be up for the game, the prize is massive. The first goal now is to get to Wembley. "

Newport County manager Justin Edinburgh told BBC Radio Wales:

"I was disappointed with some of our performances today but as a former player I know one eye was on Wednesday [play-off semi-final first leg].

"I don't think anything about our performance today will bear any relevance on Wednesday night. There's so much more at stake.

"I rested quite a few players to make sure we had a full squad to select from on Wednesday."