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Match Report


Posted Sat 14 Apr 12 at 16:55 PM

Report: Walsall 0 Tranmere 1

Tranmere made it 20 points out of ten games under Ronnie Moore with a 1-0 win over Walsall at the Banks's Stadium.

Andy Robinson's second half free kick was all that separated the teams in a closely fought match, but it took Rovers to 54 points and back into the top half of the table.

There were two changes to the starting line up from the game at MK Dons five days earlier as Enoch Showunmi and Andy Robinson came in for Robbie Weir and Zoumana Bakayogo as Rovers reverted to 4-4-2. Adam McGurk and Mark McChrystal were involved for the first time under Ronnie Moore, both taking places on the substitutes' bench after recovering from injury.

The starting formation against Walsall

While Rovers dominated the first couple of minutes it was the home side who had the game's first attempt on goal with Emmanuel Ledesma curling just over Owain Fon Williams' top right corner from outside the area.

Another curler from Ledesma took a deflection and looped inches over the Tranmere bar on ten minutes and the Argentine striker sent an overhead kick wide of the target soon after.

Rovers survived a scare on 12 minutes when Buchanan's block from left back went behind the back four and straight to Kevan Hurst inside the area but the former Scunthorpe player put his shot past Fon Williams' left hand post.

A bottom right corner bound effort from John Welsh was blocked by a defender on 29 minutes and a minute later Robinson almost gave Rovers the lead when his free kick from wide on the left bounced through a crowded area and hit the right hand post, with the ball rebounding away from the target.

A great tackle from Ash Taylor prevented Ledesma a clean run on goal from a quick Walsall counter attack on 41 minutes, the last real chance of the half at either end.

Florent Cuvelier fired over the Tranmere goal from 25 yards on 51 minutes and Fon Williams did well to save Ledesma's left foot free kick with his legs soon after.

Former Rovers loanee Sam Mantom forced Fon Williams to tip over his bar with a looping shot on 56 minutes while McGurk replaced Showunmi three minutes later.

The change had an immediate effect. With Robinson moved up front alongside Cassidy, the former Leeds player won a free kick on the edge of the area and gave Rovers the lead with a right foot shot that went over the wall and into the right side of the goal.

Taylor was well positioned to block Jon Macken's close range volley on 66 minutes as Walsall looked to level and soon after Rovers launched a counter attack, with Cassidy missing his attempt at flicking Lucas Akins' cross into the net.

Efforts from Ledesma and Mantom went over the target while Fon Williams comfortably held Ledesma's shot on the turn on 73 minutes.

After Buchanan ended Ledesma's run towards goalon 81 minutes, he combined with McGurk and to find Robinson on the left on 81 minutes and he cut inside before curling beyond the far post.

McGurk almost curled in the second on 88 minutes following a double substitution of Robbie Weir and Ryan Brunt for Robinson and Cassidy, while Ledesma looped a shot wide at the other end.

Another long range effort from McGurk brought a fine save out of David Grof in injury time and seconds later Walsall's Lee Beevers was sent off for a second yellow card.

Walsall: Grof, Sadler, Butler, Smith, Macken, Hurst (Paterson 76), Beevers, Nicholls (Bowerman 80), Cuvelier, Mantom, Ledesma. Unused substitutes: Walker, Lancashire, Chambers.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan, Akins, Welsh, Wallace, Robinson (Weir 87), Cassidy (Brunt 87), Showunmi (McGurk 59). Unused substitutes: Coughlin, McChrystal.

Referee: Mark Brown

Yellow cards: Beevers (30), Welsh (49), Butler (60), Buchanan (69), McGurk (90+3)

Red card: Beevers (90+4)

Away attendance: 330

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