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Match Report


Posted Sat 17 Dec 11 at 16:18 PM

Report: Stevenage 2 Tranmere 1

Tranmere failed to bring their run of defeats to an end as a goal in each half helped Stevenage to a 2-1 win at the Lamex Stadium.

Rovers had an early goal ruled for offside before the home side took the lead through Chris Beardsley.

The sending off of Ben May gave Les Parry's side hope in the second half but Mark Roberts' late header put the home side well in control.

Joss Labadie pulled a goal back from the penalty spot in added time to give Rovers the chance of rescuing a point but they were unable to create another clear opportunity before the final whistle.

There were two changes to the team that started against MK Dons, with Robbie Weir replaced by Joss Labadie in the centre of midfield and Adam McGurk coming in for Andy Robinson on the left wing. Lucas Akins and Enoch Showunmi both recovered from injuries to take their places in the starting line-up.

The starting formation against Stevenage

Rovers started fairly brightly, with pressure from Showunmi forcing Stevenage keeper Chris Day into action in the third minute and Lucas Akins getting the better of his marker only for his cross to go out of play.

At the other end, Ash Taylor did well to block Chris Beardsley's effort on goal, while Akins had the ball in the Stevenage net on 14 minutes but the attempt was ruled out for offside. John Welsh's corner was played short to Jose Baxter, his cross was headed back across the six yard box by Ash Taylor allowing Akins to turn in but the assistant referee was quick to raise his flag.

Akins sent his header from a McGurk cross into the side netting on 18 minutes and four minutes later the same pair combined again, with Akins popping up at the near post to test Day with another header.

John Welsh blocked a shot from Michael Bostwick on 26 minutes as the home team held possession deep in the Rovers half while Showunmi headed wide from a Baxter corner six minutes later.

After Chuks Aneke saw a shot deflect for a corner on 36 minutes, Stevenage were denied the game's opening goal on three occasions. First Paul Rachubka superbly kept out Beardsley's effort, then the Rovers keeper kept out a follow up from Byron Harrison effort before Beardsley hit the bar from close range.

However, the home side took the lead a minute later. A throw in was allowed to bounce inside the Rovers area allowing Beardsley to fire in on the turn, with Rachubka unable to keep the ball out of the net.

A goal bound shot from Akins was blocked by a defender on the six yard box on 43 minutes, the final chance of the half for either side.

Shroot shot into the Tranmere side netting on 61 minutes from Aneke's pass following a cagey start to the second half from both teams.

After a foul on Michael Kay by Luke Freeman the Rovers defender had to be replaced by Danny Holmes at right back, the first substitution of the match for Les Parry's side.

Rachubka parried a long range shot from Aneke on 69 minutes and after he gathered at the second attempt, Stevenage substitute Ben May was sent off for his challenge on the keeper.

Rovers responded by introducing Robinson in place of McGurk, while a long range effort from Baxter was well saved by Day soon after.

A shot from Akins was deflected away from goal on 73 minutes and Baxter fired high over the bar seven minutes later. It was the last involvement for the Everton loanee who was replaced by Mustafa Tiryaki in Rovers' final substitution.

However, the home side doubled their advantage on 84 minutes, with captain Mark Roberts heading in Shroot's free kick from close range.

A superb block from Holmes denied Stevenage a third when he got in the way of Freeman's back post volley on 87 minutes.

Rovers were awarded a penalty in the second minute of injury time following a foul by Laird on Mark McChrystal with Labadie sending Day the wrong way to pull a goal back for Rovers.

With just a few minutes remaining the chance of an equaliser would be slim and the closest Rovers came was a cross that had to be headed out of the path of Akins by a Stevenage defender and behind for a corner.

Stevenage: Day, Ashton, Wilson, Roberts, Laird, Long (Cowan 77), Freeman, Aneke, Bostwick, Beardsley (Shroot 42), Harrison (May 59). Unused substitutes: Edwards, Julian.

Tranmere: Rachubka, Kay (Holmes 65), Taylor, McChrystal, Buchanan, Akins, Labadie, Welsh, McGurk (Robinson 70), Baxter (Tiryaki 80), Showunmi. Unused substitutes: Coughlin, Power.

Referee: David Phillips

Yellow cards: Welsh (35), Long (50), Kay (58), Freeman (65), Labadie (66), Robinson (77)

Red card: May (69)

Away attendance: 215

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