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Match Report


Posted Sat 23 Oct 10 at 16:53 PM

Report: Walsall 1 Tranmere 4

Tranmere scored more than two goals for the first time in 2010-11 to clinch a 4-1 away win over Walsall and move off the bottom of League 1.

A two goal haul for captain John Welsh and strikes from Enoch Showunmi and Ian Thomas-Moore were on target in a deserved victory at the Banks's Stadium, Rovers' second success over the Saddlers in just over three months after also winning their Carling Cup first round tie.

There were three changes to the side that started against Brentford, with Ian Thomas-Moore and Joss Labadie returning from injury to take the places of Lucas Akins and Arnaud Mendy and Max Blanchard coming into midfield instead of the injured Paul McLaren.

The starting formation against Walsall

A heavy shower greeted the players as they walked out of the tunnel ahead of kick off and just seconds into the game there were anxious moments for Tranmere fans when Enoch Showunmi went down and appeared to be in significant pain. However, the big striker responded well to treatment from physio Steve Walker and was soon back on the pitch.

Walsall's Steve Jones registered the first shot of the match on three minutes but his 20 yard effort went harmlessly wide of Peter Gulacsi's goal.

At the other end Showunmi whipped the ball across the six yard box but Thomas-Moore couldn't stretch far enough to connect and the Saddlers cleared.

Gulacsi kept out a low effort from Reuben Reid on nine minutes with a one handed save, while the Saddlers picked up two bookings for heavy challenges on Aaron Cresswell and Scott Wootton from Steve Jones and Martin Devaney.

Gulacsi kept out a low effort fro Reuben Reid on nine minutes with a one handed save, while the Saddlers picked up two bookings for heavy challenges on Aaron Cresswell and Scott Wootton from Steve Jones and Martin Devaney.

After a frantic start, the pace of the game dropped and both sets of defences began to control their opponents. A Thomas-Moore shot was blocked by the Richard Taundry on 25 minutes and the next chance didn't come for another eight minutes.

Walsall keeper Jon Brain came off his line to punch clear under pressure from Showunmi but the ball went straight to Welsh 40 yards out whose first time effort went high in the air, over the home defence and straight into the net.

A 25 yard effort from Jennings dipped and swerved but Brain did well to hold on while Aaron Lescott fired high and wide at the other end, the final chance of the half.

Cresswell brought a fine one handed save out of Brain with a top corner bound effort from 25 yards after good work from Thomas-Moore in the second minute of the second half.

After a couple of quick break away attacks from Tranmere came to nothing, they doubled their lead on 58 minutes. A miss hit back pass from Andrew Davies went high in the air allowing Showunmi to control and, one on one with the goalkeeper, he shot under the body of Brain from 12 yards and into the net for his sixth goal of the season.

Soon after, Gulacsi palmed Jon Macken's long range shot over the bar with the Saddlers unable to capitalise on the corner that followed. However, the home side pulled a goal back on 65 minutes with a move started and finished by Macken, The striker played the ball out wide, ran into the six yard box and got in front of Goodison to turn home Devaney's cross at the near post.

Zoumana Bakayogo replaced Cresswell on 70 minutes with the left back looking like he had picked up a knock during the second half.

Gulacsi almost spilled another Devaney cross into the path of Mackenon 73 minutes but the Hungarian stopper reacted quickly and gathered at the second attempt.

Jennings broke free through the middle to run on to a Liam Darville pass on 74 minutes but his low shot was saved by Brain.

However, a couple of minutes later the youngster was quickly away again, getting past Lescott before being brought down inside the area with the referee quickly pointing to the spot. Thomas-Moore stepped up to take the penalty and sent Brain the wrong way, finding the bottom right corner for his third goal of the season.

Welsh brought a save out of Brain with a well struck 25 yard shot on 79 minutes while Ryan Fraughan replaced Jennings soon after.

Walsall substitute Will Grigg shot wide from a Devaney cross on 85 minutes, but three minutes later Rovers ensured all three points, with Fraughan laying the ball off for Welsh who side footed home from just inside the area.

Bakayogo tried to make it five on 88 minutes but his effort was comfortably held by Brain, while Gulacsi held on to an attempted lob from Alex Nicholls at the other end.

Walsall: Brain, Lescott, Smith, Jones, Richards, Macken (Grigg 82), Taundry, Reid (Nicholls 61), McGivern, Davies (McDonald 71), Devaney. Substitutes not used: Westlake, Marshall, Gray, Bevan.

Tranmere: Gulacsi, Darville, Wootton, Goodison, Cresswell (Bakayogo 70), Labadie (Mendy 89), Blanchard, Welsh, Thomas-Moore, Showunmi, Jennings (Fraughan 82). Substitutes not used: Collister, Cathalina, Akins, Morrow.

Referee: Jon Moss

Yellow cards: Jones (7), Devaney (14), Welsh (51), Showunmi (57), Lescott (75)

Away attendance: 370

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