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Match Report


Posted Sat 08 Jan 11 at 16:58 PM

Report: Tranmere 3 Walsall 3

Tranmere missed out on their second home win in six days as Walsall scored two late goals to claim a point at Prenton Park. Rovers fell behind in the first half but an own goal and an Aaron Cresswell free kick put them ahead at half time before Lateef Elford-Alliyu added the third early in the second half. But a Jon Macken effort put the visitors back in the game and the equaliser came in the fourth minute of added time when Andy Butler headed in. There were three changes to the side that started against Carlisle, with Tony Warner and Michael Kay coming in for their debuts and Ash Taylor lining up at centre back alongside Ian Goodison. Out of the side went the injured Tim Cathalina, Joe Collister and Scott Wooton whose loan spell had ended earlier in the week. Mark McChrystal was named among the substitutes after Rovers received international clearance for his signing. A cagey opening saw the two sides trade possession in midfield and it wasn't until the eighth minute that a shot was registered, with Dale Jennings cutting inside from the left only to fire high and wide from the edge of the area. Tony Warner's first test in a Tranmere shirt saw him comfortably claim a cross from the left while Walsall keeper David Bevan easily dealt with Taylor's header from an Aaron Cresswell corner at the other end. Warner saved a low shot from Steve Jones on 16 minutes while the keeper put his side in trouble three minutes later with a misplaced pass to Cresswell that went straight to Walsall striker Alex Nicholls. The Saddlers, though, were unable to take advantage as their attack broke down when Darryl Westlake fired across goal and wide. A drilled free kick from Cresswell deflected wide on 23 minutes and a through ball from the defender put Jennings in a good position three minutes later, with the youngster avoiding one tackle before shooting just wide of the left hand post from 18 yards. As Rovers began to assert themselves on the game, good work from Lateef Elford-Alliyu presented Joss Labadie with a shooting opportunity though his well stuck effort missed the target. However, Walsall took the lead with their next attack on 32 minutes. After a corner was only cleared as far as the edge of the area, Matthew Richards side footed the ball straight through a crowd of players and past the dive of Warner. But five minutes from half time Rovers levelled. After Labadie and Kay exchanged passes, the ball was played out wide to Elford-Alliyu and his cross took a touch, seemingly off Walsall's Matt Richards with Enoch Showunmi close by, and was diverted into the far corner of the net. And with the first half in added time, another goal came. A free kick awarded for a foul on Labadie just outside the area was curled into the top right corner by Cresswell with Bevan off his line, giving Rovers the lead at the interval. Two minutes into the second half it was almost 3-1. Showunmi beat the offside trap to run on to Labadie's pass and though his attempted chip went over Bevan it landed just past the right hand post. A well worked corner routine soon after saw Jenning step over Cresswell's cross and Labadie's drilled shot well saved by Bevan and Rovers' high tempo start to the half continued with two more corners. Walsall's Jon Macken headed narrowly wide of the left hand post to remind Rovers the threat the visitors posed on 54 minutes, while John Welsh sent a 25 yard shot wide soon after in front of the Kop Stand. The third goal came on 56 minutes with a move started and finished by Elford-Alliyu. After good work in midfield from the West Brom loanee, the ball was played into the area from the left wing by Jennings, Thomas-Moore let it run into the path of Elford-Alliyu who coolly side footed into the bottom right corner from 18 yards for his first goal for the Club. Warner easily caught Jamie Paterson's floated shot on 59 minutes and at the opposite end of the pitch Showunmi battled with two defenders to force a corner. An audacious back heel from Showunmi almost brought the fourth goal on 64 minutes but Bevan reacted quickly to save and the Rovers striker could only head Taylor's ball back in straight to the Walsall keeper. Labadie fired a free kick straight at Bevan on 74 minutes while McChrystal came on for his Tranmere debut three minutes later, replacing Goodison. Warner saved well at his near post from Paul Marshall on 78 minutes as Walsall began a spell of pressure on the Tranmere area that saw Ash Taylor head clear on several occasions. Lucas Akins replaced Thomas-Moore in attack with eight minutes of normal time remaining and the former Huddersfield striker almost got his first goal for the Club soon after with an angled strike but Bevan did well to keep the ball out at his near post. It needed a sensational save from Warner to keep out Marshall's volley in the second minute of added time, the former Millwall keeper diving to his right and palming clear. However, two minutes later Walsall rescued a point when Butler headed Grigg's cross in from close range. Tranmere: Warner, Kay, Taylor, Goodison (McChrystal 77), Cresswell, Elford-Alliyu, Welsh, Labadie, Jennings (McGurk 85), Showunmi, Thomas-Moore (Akins 82). Substitutes not used: Collister, Wood, Bakayogo, Fraughan. Walsall: Bevan, Westlake, Lescott, Butler, Smith, Paterson (Gray 75), Nicholls, Richards, Marshall, Macken, Jones (Grigg 60). Substitutes not used: McDonald, Geddes, McGivern, Brain, Lancashire. Referee: Michael Naylor Yellow cards: sdfsd   Follow Tranmere on Twitter at

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