Wembley a home from home for play-off finalists Newport & Tranmere

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium re-opened in 2007

A Newport County fan and a Tranmere Rovers fan walk into a bar at Wembley.

"The usual?" the barman replies.

It might seem crazy, but while the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town have not played at Wembley since it re-opened in 2007, for Newport and Tranmere, English football's national stadium has become a regular haunt.

The likes of Accrington Stanley and Crawley Town have never been to Wembley in their entire histories, yet Mickey Mellon and Michael Flynn are there so often they should get their own parking spaces.

We look back on the Wembley-history of the League Two play-off finalists as the clubs prepare to return to their home from home on Saturday.

Newport scarf at Wembley in 2012
Newport's appearance at Wembley in 2012 was their first in either the old or new stadiums

2012: Newport's first Wembley visit

Newport achieved a first Wembley appearance by reaching the 2012 FA Trophy final. Unfortunately, the Exiles missed a host of chances, were denied permission to field their first choice goalkeeper Karl Darlow and they were beaten 2-0 by an impressive York City. They got a taste for the place though.

Newport County celebrate success at Wembley
Newport County knocked out Grimsby to reach the 2013 play-off final

2013: Edinburgh completes the County dream

Newport's happiest day since the club reformed in 1989 came on 5 May, 2013, when the Exiles secured their return to the Football League with a 2-0 win over Welsh rivals Wrexham.

On what was essentially a perfect afternoon for the Exiles, they soaked up pressure before two late goals from Christian Jolley and Aaron O'Connor secured the win and ensured Newport went up with Mansfield, who County denied a place at Wembley in the semi-finals this season.

Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers secured a place in the Football League for the first time with victory over Tranmere

2017: Rovers return after 17-years away

Regulars at Wembley in the 1990s - they once played there four times in just over a year - Tranmere's appearance in the National League play-off final in 2017 was also their first at the national stadium since the 2000 League Cup final defeat by Leicester City.

Rovers were looking to seal a return to the Football League after a fine campaign, but were beaten 3-1 by an expensively-assembled Forest Green Rovers. Revenge, of course, would be achieved in the semi-final of the 2019 League Two play-offs.

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FA Cup: Tottenham 2-0 Newport County highlights

2018: County's cup final comes early

Newport got a bonus visit to Wembley thanks to a fine run in the 2018-19 FA Cup that saw them hold Tottenham to a draw at Rodney Parade. That earned a lucrative replay at Spurs' temporary home, though the Exiles were soundly beaten 2-0 by Mauricio Pochettino's side, who lost to Manchester United in the semi-final.

Newport can at least this season say that they were knocked out by the eventual tournament winners.

Tranmere Rovers
Tranmere achieved promotion despite playing virtually the entire final with 10 men

2018: Tranmere triumph to secure promotion

Despite finishing second in the National League two seasons in a row, Tranmere fans probably feared the worst last term against Boreham Wood, especially after Liam Ridehalgh's moment of madness.

However, Rovers kept their composure as James Norwood inspired them to a win that returned them to League Two. Now, at the first attempt, they are 90 minutes away from the third tier.

2019: Newport County v Tranmere Rovers

Which club is set to enjoy another happy day at their home away from home?

The only certainty is that whoever wins will happily invite celebrated ex-Newport striker and former Tranmere boss John Aldridge along to their victory party.

And they will definitely know their way around the home of English football.