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Match Report


Posted Fri 22 Apr 11 at 16:53 PM

Report: Hartlepool 1 Tranmere 1

Dale Jennings came off the bench to rescue a point for Tranmere and take them to the 50 points mark for the season. The youngster equalised with around ten minutes remaining to earn Rovers a 1-1 draw against Hartlepool at Victoria Park after they went a goal down early in the first half. Rovers again named an unchanged side following the 1-0 defeat at home to Notts County but youth team goalkeeper Andy Coughlin was promoted to the bench following an injury to Joe Collister while playing for the reserves in midweek. Hartlepool started the brighter and Tony Warner had to save Adam Boyd's third minute shot from 12 yards. However, a couple of minutes later Rovers were on the attack and saw Lucas Akins' effort cleared off the line and the striker was just unable to make contact on the rebound to turn in. From the corner that followed John Welsh sent another attempt over the bar. Leon McSweeney missed with a 15 yard shot on nine minutes but Pools' top scorere Antony Sweeny did find the target six minutes later. A long throw into the area was flicked on into Sweeney's path and he turned to side foot past Warner and open the scoring. Michael Mackay almost doubled the lead on 17 minutes but his lob went over Warner and the bar to the relief of the travelling Tranmere fans. Rovers took a while to recover from the setback and couldn't turn the possession they had into chances on goal. That almost changed on 39 minutes when Enoch Showunmi sent a header across the six yard box and towards Akins but Hartlepool keeper Andy Rafferty was quickly off his line to gather. At the other end Mackay brought a decent save out of Warner while Sweeney and Mackay both missed close range efforts a couple of minutes before half time. The mist which had surrounded Victoria Park throughout the game - despite it being a hot, sunny day in most of Britain - was heavier for the start of the second half. Early in the period Ian Goodison had to intercept a dangerous ball through the Tranmere area but at the opposite end of the pitch it was still proving to be a frustrating afternoon for Rovers, with the final ball lacking. A flick on from Ash Taylor gave Robbie Weir a half chance on 56 minutes but the midfielder, on loan from Sunderland, headed over the bar. It proved to be Weir's last involvement of the game as he was replaced by Andy Robinson just a few minutes later, with Rover switching to 4-4-2. A run from Robinson almost led to a chance for Showunmi but his shot was blocked. The ball looked like it was set to fall for Robinson in a decent position but the referee inadvertently got in the way and Hartlepool were able to clear. Dale Jennings and Adam McGurk replaced Zoumana Bakayogo and Akins respectively on 68 minutes, with Cresswell dropping to left back. Robinson's well aimed pass for Showunmi was cut out by the Hartlepool defence on 70 minutes while Jennings was inches away from beating Rafferty to a through ball six minutes later. A long range effort from Hartlepool substitute Dennis Behan hit the top of the Tranmere bar on 78 minutes but four minutes later Rovers drew level. Showunmi powered forward from the halfway line, drew a fine save out of Rafferty but the young keeper had parried the ball out wide into the path of Jennings who followed up for his sixth goal of the season. Warner saved well from Monkhouse's deflected effort and moments later there was a nervous situation for Rovers when Michael Kay was adjudged to have passed back to the Tranmere keeper who picked up the ball. With Hartlepool awarded an indirect free kick just yards from goal Tranmere packed the goal line and managed to get a block on the shot to put it out for a corner. McGurk fired straight at Rafferty with three minutes of normal time remaining, the last chance of the game for either side though Rovers had to defend a corner deep in injury time. Hartlepool: Rafferty, Rowbotham, Collins, Hartley, Holden (Horwood 72), McSweeney, Sweeney, Gamble, Monkhouse, Boyd (Larkin 68), Mackay (Behan 68). Substitutes: Flinders, Haslam, Humphreys, Yantorno. Tranmere: Warner, Kay, Goodison, McChrystal, Bakayogo (Jennings 68), Weir (Robinson 60), Taylor, Welsh, Akins (McGurk 68), Showunmi, Cresswell. Substitutes: Coughlin, Wood, Blanchard, Fraughan. Referee: Mark Haywood Yellow cards: Taylor (90) Away attendance: 233 Follow Tranmere on Twitter at

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