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Match Report


Posted Thu 08 Dec 11 at 10:57 AM

Report: Tranmere 0 Cheltenham 1

A first half penalty from Darryl Duffy knocked Tranmere out of the FA Cup with Budweiser at the first hurdle.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Rovers who struggled to turn possession into chances against the League 2 side.

Three changes were made to the side that started at Chesterfield as Dave Raven, Ian Goodison and Andy Robinson all returned with Danny Holmes, Mark McChrystal and Zoumana Bakayogo dropping to the bench. With seven substitutes allowed in the FA Cup there was a place for Martin Devaney against his former club, involved for the first time for Rovers since picking up an injury in early September.

The starting formation against Cheltenham

The opening ten minutes were fairly even with the majority of play in the middle third and both sides wasting possession in promising positions.

A long range strike from Russ Penn bounced just in front of Owain Fon Williams in the Tranmere goal on 13 minutes with the keeper making enough contact to push the ball wide for a corner.

Robbie Weir fired Rovers' first effort of the game narrowly wide of the target from the edge of the area but soon after the visitors were awarded a penalty when Lucas Akins was adjudged to have fouled Sido Jombati. Darryl Duffy stepped up to take the kick and drilled his effort into the roof of the net to give the League 2 side the lead.

A free kick from Pack was sent straight at Fon Williams from a central position 25 yards out while Taylor's flick header from a McGurk free kick went inches past the far post on 25 minutes at the opposite end.

With the visitors still in the ascendancy and Rovers yet to get started, Duffy saw a low shot from the right side of the area saved by Fon Williams.

Though Rovers began to improve defensively, they couldn't create anything going forward, losing possession a number of times with passes going astray. However, they came to life two minutes from half time, with Robinson collecting the ball 25 yards out, twisting and turning before sending a low effort just past Scott Brown's left hand post.

A great save from Brown denied Robinson from a curling free kick in the 47th minute with Taylor sending an overhead kick over from the resulting corner.

Tiryaki volleyed wide from 20 yards on 57 minutes and the striker was replaced by Showunmi six minutes later, with Devaney also coming on for Adam McGurk at the same time.

Fon Williams saved Luke Summerfield's angled attempt from the right side of the area on 64 minutes, while Rovers continued to be frustrated at the other end as a number of attacks came to nothing.

Labadie was brought on in place of Lucas Akins on 72 minutes and the midfielder started the move that saw John Welsh shoot wide from 25 yards soon after.

Fon Williams had to tip a looping header from Jeff Goulding over the bar on 77 minutes, with David Buchanan forced to clear Penn's header off the line from the corner that followed.

Robinson and Showunmi combined to release Devaney on 78 minutes but his attempt at curling into the far corner hit the foot of a defender and was cleared.

A dangerous Devaney cross went agonisingly close to sneaking in at the far post on 83 minutes and though Rovers pressed late on, they couldn't create a clear shooting opportunity.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Raven, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan, Akins (Labadie 72), Weir, Welsh, McGurk (Devaney 63), Robinson, Tiryaki (Showunmi 63). Unused substitutes: Coughlin, Holmes, McChrystal, Bakayogo.

Cheltenham: Brown, Keith Low, Elliott, Pack, Josh Low (Smikle 84), Duffy (Goulding 76), Bennett, Penn (Hooman 90+2), Jombati, Mohamed, Summerfield. Unused substitutes: Andrew, Lewis, Graham, Book.

Referee: Craig Pawson

Yellow cards: Summerfield (58), Welsh (65)

Man of the Match (as voted for by supporters on Ian Goodison

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