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Match Report


Posted Sat 21 Apr 12 at 16:51 PM

Report: Tranmere 1 Hartlepool 1

Tranmere took their unbeaten home run to 11 games with a 1-1 draw against Hartlepool United.

After John Welsh gave Rovers a first half lead, Hartlepool levelled through Antony Sweeney, while the bizarre sending off of Owain Fon Williams left Tranmere to see out the final quarter of an hour with ten men.

There were two changes to the side that started at Walsall as Adam McGurk and Zoumana Bakayogo came in for Enoch Showunmi and David Buchanan, while Martin Devaney was named on the bench for the first time under Ronnie Moore.

The starting formation v Hartlepool

Though Rovers dominated the early possession, it wasn't until the 15th minute of the game that Bakayogo registered the first shot, slicing wide from outside the area from McGurk's lay off.

Paul Murray's volley from 20 yards was comfortably held by Owain Fon Williams on 23 minutes, while McGurk curled over the bar from a similar position at the other end after good work from Andy Robinson.

Ryan Noble looked like he had broken past Goodison for a one on one with Fon Williams on 33 minutes but the veteran centre back kept enough pressure on his opponent who weakly shot towards the Rovers goal.

Rovers took the lead five minutes before half time. A cross field ball from Bakayogo was controlled by Lucas Akins on the right wing and though his left foot cross went behind Jake Cassidy, John Welsh was on hand to fire in on the turn from ten yards, his low shot beating Scott Flinders into the right side of the goal.

The goal sparked the game to life, with Robinson testing Flinders from 25 yards before Noble fired a yard over the bar from outside the area for Hartlepool.

Rovers started the second half the brighter of the two sides, passing the ball well across the defence and midfield without creating a clear cut opportunity until the 60th minute when Welsh looped a header over the bar from Bakayogo's cross.

Peter Hartley almost turned a Danny Holmes cross into his own net on 67 minutes but a couple of minutes later the visitors were level. After Antony Sweeney's first shot from outside the area was blocked by Goodison, the ball fell straight back to the midfielder and his left foot effort took a touch off the hand of Fon Williams on its way into the net.

Soon after, Rovers were reduced to ten men in bizarre fashion. Noble broke free of Ash Taylor and as he reached the edge of the area he went down under challenges from Fon Williams and Goodison. After first indicating that he had awarded a free kick rather than a penalty, the referee then appeared to show a red card to Fon Williams. After protests from both sets of players about the decisions, it then seemed that Goodison had been given his marching orders, with the defender making his way towards the tunnel while Fon Williams stayed in his goal mouth. While both Andy Coughlin and Mark McChrystal got ready to come on, Goodison then stopped at the edge of the pitch as referee Mick Russell consulted one of his assistants in front of the Johnny King Stand. He then allowed Goodison to rejoin the action while showing a red card to the Rovers keeper. Coughlin then came on for his Tranmere debut, replacing Cassidy and seeing Hartlepool hit the post from the free kick that had been awarded several minutes earlier.

Hartlepool seized the initiative and went close twice before Coughlin saved from Neil Austin, but Rovers survived the pressure and saw out the final quarter of an hour for the draw.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Goodison, Bakayogo, Akins, Welsh, Wallace, Robinson, Cassidy (Coughlin 73), McGurk (Weir 88). Unused substitutes: McChrystal, Devaney, Brunt.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Liddle, Monkhouse, Sweeney, Baldwin, Murray, Richards, Hartley, James (Holden 62), Noble. Unused substitutes: Humphreys, Boyd, Rafferty, Rowbotham.

Referee: Mick Russell

Yellow cards:

Red card: Fon Williams (73)

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