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Match Report


Posted Sat 24 Mar 12 at 16:52 PM

Report: Tranmere 2 Exeter 0

Ronnie Moore's unbeaten start as Manager continued as second half goals from Joss Labadie and Jake Cassidy earned Rovers a 2-0 win over Exeter at Prenton Park.

The victory was Tranmere's third in a row at home and their fourth in six games under Moore and it stretched the Club's unbeaten home record to nine games.

The Manager named an unchanged side from the team that started at Rochdale four days earlier, with goalscorer Jake Cassidy on the substitutes' bench.

The starting formation against Exeter City

Ryan Brunt flashed a header across goal and wide from an early John Welsh free kick, while a tricky Andy Robinson cross had to be turned out of the path of Lucas Akins for a corner on five minutes.

Another Robinson cross forced Exeter goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley to punch off his goal line but Rovers couldn't take advantage of Ian Goodison's ball back into the box.

All the early action involved Robinson, with the former Swansea player firing over the top left corner with his left foot from Brunt's right wing cross on nine minutes after Danny Holmes twice prevented Exeter from launching a counter attack.

Rovers kept up their pressure and it needed a well-placed defender to block welsh's half volley following good work from Akins while Brunt's cross somehow missed all of his team mates soon after.

A surging run from James Wallace drew a foul 25 yards from goal in a central position on 21 minutes, but after Robinson's shot hit the wall, it bounced just beyond the stretch of Brunt as he looked to turn in past Pidgeley.

Daniel Nardiello looped a shot high over the Tranmere bar from 30 yards on 22 minutes while at the other end Showunmi's first time effort from a Brunt flick on went wide of the target from outside the area.

Goodison twisted and turned his way up the left wing on 26 minutes before delivering a well-placed cross which was just too far from Robinson for him to capitalise on, moments before Lauri Dalla Valle broke past Buchanan and brought a save out of Fon Williams with a low effort from 25 yards.

An injury to Wallace meant Rovers had to make the game's first substitution on 39 minutes with the midfielder replaced by Joss Labadie.

Showunmi headed wide from Akins' right wing cross on 41 minutes and the game's first goal should have come two minutes later. Akins picked Welsh out with a quickly taken throw in, the captain controlled inside the area before drilling the ball across the six yard box to Brunt, but with an open goal the striker put his right foot shot over the bar from three yards.

Jake Cassidy replaced Showunmi at the start of the second half but it was fellow substitute Labadie who opened the scoring on 48 minutes. Rovers broke into the Exeter half through Robinson who played the ball to Labadie. The midfielder controlled 25 yards out before curling an inch perfect shot into the bottom right corner beyond Pidgeley.

He almost made it 2-0 a couple of minutes later, drilling a free kick against the bar from 30 yards after Welsh was fouled in the left side of the half.

Akins was next to have a chance at doubling the lead, but the winger headed wide from Robinson's left wing cross on 58 minutes.

Exeter's John O'Flynn headed wide from six yards on 61 minutes and James Dunne curled past the post from outside the area soon after as the visitors went in search of an equaliser.

Dunne went closer on 70 minutes, smashing an angled volley against the post from the left side of the area with the ball bouncing clear of the target.

Rovers' final change saw Robinson replaced by Zoumana Bakayogo on the left side of midfield with around quarter of an hour remaining and the former Millwall player's cross almost led to the second goal soon after. The ball reached Akins at the back post and his lay off to Brunt gave the striker a great chance of scoring his second goal for the Club but his low effort was superbly blocked by a defender.

With Brunt carrying a knock in the final stages Rovers' attacking options were limited but they defended strongly and added a second in injury time. The ball was played into the left channel for Cassidy and the Wolves striker ran into the area and curled beyond Pidgeley and into the far corner of the goal for his second goal in four days.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan, Akins, Welsh, Wallace (Labadie 39), Robinson (Bakayogo 74), Showunmi (Cassidy 45 HT), Brunt. Unused substitutes: Coughlin, Weir.

Exeter: Pidgeley, Tully, Dunne, Archibald-Henville, Noble, Nardiello (Bauza 84), O'Flynn (Ricketts 67), Fortune, Baldwin, Dalla Valle, Sercombe (Taylor 55). Unused substitutes: Krysiak, Frear.

Referee: Steve Rushton

Yellow cards: Nardiello (35), Labadie (48)

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