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Match Report


Posted Fri 19 Mar 10 at 21:38 PM

Tranmere 0 Hartlepool 0

Tranmere picked up their second clean sheet in a week but they were unable to find a way past Hartlepool as the League One clash ended goalless at Prenton Park.

It was a match of few real chances for either side, with Craig Curran's low shot across goal the closest Rovers came to scoring.

There were two changes to the side that started at Bristol Rovers with Ian Thomas-Moore missing out through a knee injury and Zoumana Bakayogo serving the first game of a two match suspension. Coming into the side were Aaron Cresswell and Terry Gornell.

The starting formation against Hartlepool

A fairly cagey opening five minutes saw neither team able to get into the opposition area and it took until the eighth minute for Rovers to win the first corner but they were unable to capitalise on Ian Goodison's header across the six yard box.

Stray passes and some wasteful touches meant it wasn't until the 20th minute that the first shooting opportunity of the game arrived, but Paul McLaren's close range shot from a Bas Savage flick on went well wide of the target.

On 24 minutes John Welsh almost opened the scoring but his lob after controlling on the edge of the area with his back to goal went narrowly past the top right corner.

Goodison threw his body in the way of a shot from Anthony Sweeney on 32 minutes while Gornell headed wide from a long Cresswell cross two minutes later at the other end.

The best move yet came on 36 minutes, started by Savage deep in his own half. The striker jinked past a couple of challenges before knocking forward to McLaren. His high ball found Gornell inside the area and he laid it off for the advancing Cresswell who whipped a cross over the keeper but beyond the reach of Craig Curran at the far post.

Savage looped a shot wide of the far post from the left wing on 41 minutes, the last chance of the half for either side.

Heavy rain greeted the players for the start of the second half with the conditions ideal for the slide tackle that saw Ash Taylor break up a Hartlepool counter attack on 47 minutes.

The visitors controlled the early stages of the second half but the closest they came was James Brown's header which went comfortably wide of goal.

Curran almost broke the deadlock on 57 minutes with a low drive from the left side of the area which went just inches beyond the bottom right corner while Peter Hartley headed wide for Hartlepool from a Richie Humphreys corner four minutes later.


Chris Shuker replaced Gornell in Rovers' first change of the game, with the winger playing just behind the front two of Curran and Savage.

Luke Daniels kept Tranmere level on 67 minutes with a one on one stop. The keeper saved well from Roy O'Donovan after the on loan striker looked to make the most of Goodison's failed attempt to clear in what was the visitors' best chance so far.

At the other end Taylor side footed wide from outside the area and the midfielder headed across goal soon after from a McLaren free kick, with the ball bouncing just beyond Shuker.



Gareth Edds and Marvin Sordell came on for Welsh and Curran respectively with just under ten minutes remaining and Sordell forced a save out of Scott Flinders on 88 minutes with a curling left foot shot from the edge of the area.

A goalmouth scramble gave Hartlepool hope of a winner in injury time but Goodison cleared the danger as both sides had to settle for a point.

Tranmere: Daniels, Logan, McCready, Goodison, Cresswell, Welsh (Edds 83), Taylor, McLaren, Curran (Sordell 83), Savage, Gornell (Shuker 64). Substitutes not used: Collister, Broomes, O'Neill, Mahon.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin (McSweeney 24), Humphreys, Collins, Clark, Monkhouse, Brown (Jones 80), Sweeney, Hartley, Gamble, O'Donovan. Substitutes not used: Boyd, Haslam, Mackay, Cook, Bjornsson.

Referee: Karl Evans

Yellow cards: Taylor (90+1)

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