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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 18 Aug 09 at 20:03 PM

Tranmere 4 Gillingham 2

Tranmere claimed their first League One win of the season with a hard fought 4-2 victory over Gillingham at Prenton Park.

Rovers twice led through goals from Ian Thomas-Moore and John Welsh only to be pegged back by the Gills. However, substitute Terry Gornell's strike with just after coming on again put the game in the home side's favour and Thomas-Moore headed a second in injury time to seal the win.

The victory also extended the Club's unbeaten home league run to 19 games, a string of results stretching back to October 2008.

There was one change to the side that defeated Grimsby 4-0, with Gavin Gunning returning to the side in place of Marlon Broomes who dropped out of the 16. Charlie Barnett was named on the substitutes' bench for the first time in 2009-10 after recovering from a groin injury but new signing Michael Ricketts wasn't included in the squad.

The starting formation against Gillingham

Rovers got off to a flying start. Chris Shuker volleyed over inside the first minute after Ian Thomas-Moore headed down a high ball from Gunning, and the next chance brought the first goal of the game on six minutes. Craig Curran pulled the ball back to Shaleum Logan on the right and the full back jinked past the defender before swinging in a cross from which Thomas-Moore headed in from close range.

Thomas-Moore tried to add a second on 14 minutes when latching on to a stray Gillingham pass but his 20-yard effort was saved by Alan Julian.

On 16 minutes Aaron Cresswell overlapped Alan Mahon before drilling a cross which was cleared just in front of the Gillingham goal line and Mahon's powerful follow up also had to be headed away from goal as Rovers raced forward.

Gillingham had plenty of possession but were struggling to turn it into chances. Logan did well to tackle Andy Barcham as he raced into the Tranmere area on 25 minutes while Gunning dealt with a Simeon Jackson attack five minutes later.

However, the Gills' pressure paid off on 34 minutes when the ball fell to Curtis Weston 25 yards out and the midfielder brilliantly shot into the bottom right corner of Luke Daniels' goal.

A couple of minutes later Gillingham surged forward looking for a second. Barcham raced past Logan's challenge and could have laid the ball off for Simeon Jackson but his delay allowing Gunning to block the ball which brought the move to an end.

Rovers responded well. A long range effort from Cresswell cannoned off the body of Julian and the left back's follow up cross was headed onto the roof of the net by John Welsh.

Three minutes into the second half Rovers regained the lead. A long throw in from Logan found Welsh running towards the edge of the area and the summer signing brilliantly sent a dipping first time left foot shot over Julian and into the net.

At the other end Mark Bentley headed over from six yards and on 54 minutes Gillingham drew level. Barcham cut inside Logan on the edge of the area and curled the ball high over Daniels into the top right corner from 18 yards.

Substitution

It was an inspired substitution. Four minutes after joining the action Gornell pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the Gillingham area and fired low and hard into the bottom left corner for his second senior goal for the Club.

Rovers' second substitution saw Gareth Edds replace Mahon on the left side of midfield, moments before Ian Goodison superbly dispossessed Jackson as he raced towards goal.

Substitution

Edds headed narrowly wide of the far post from a Shuker cross on 84 minutes while Goodison produced another vital block at the other end.

As Gillingham piled forward Rovers broke free down the left with Edds finding Gornell. The striker cut inside Barry Fuller but, under pressure from the defender, put his shot well wide of the target.

Rovers kept hold of the ball well in the final minutes and Thomas-Moore headed in a second deep in injury time to secure the win. Daniels pulled off a fine save moments later to keep the two goal cushion.

Tranmere: Daniels, Logan, Gunning, Goodison, Cresswell, Shuker, Welsh, McLaren, Mahon (Edds 77), Curran (Gornell 69), Thomas-Moore. Substitutes not used: Collister, Taylor, Macauley, Barnett, Fraughan.

Gillingham: Julian, Fuller, Nutter, Richards, Bentley (Palmer 81), Jackson, Barcham, Miller, Gowling, Weston, Payne (McCammon 81). Substitutes not used: Royce, Maher, Erskine, Yussuff, Rooney.

Referee: Craig Pawson

Booking: Akpa Akpro

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