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Match Report

 

Posted Sun 24 Jun 12 at 15:30 PM

Akpa Akpro on target in Rovers draw

Tranmere's unbeaten start to 2012-13 continued with a hard fought 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury Town.
Marvin Morgan's header put the Shrews head right at the end of a first half dominated by the home side.
However, Rovers improved after half time and eventually got their equaliser through Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, his third goal of the season.
Ronnie Moore named an unchanged team for the second game in a row, sticking with the same starting eleven that defeated both Leyton Orient and Carlisle United.  Former Rovers players Terry Gornell and Jermaine Grandison started for the Shrews with Reuben Hazell on the bench.
The hosts started brightly though excellent tracking back from Zoumana Bakayogo ended an early counter attack while a cross from Marvin Morgan rolled into the hands of Owain Fon Williams on six minutes. 
At the other end Jake Cassidy's outswinging cross was just missed by Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro as he attempted a diving header, while another quick break from the Shrews ended with Mark Wright sending a low shot straight at Fon Williams from the right hand side of the area.
Akpa Akpro failed to pick out Cassidy at the far post on 12 minutes after running on to a looping pass from Robinson inside the area, the best chance created by Rovers in the opening 20 minutes.
Shrewsbury were denied the lead by the knee of Fon Williams on the half hour mark, with the Welsh keeper saving Wright's low shot at his near post after the winger got past Danny Holmes and towards the six yard box.
Akpa Akpro's left foot cross found Cassidy on 32 minutes but the Wolves loanee could only volley high over the bar from 18 yards while Fon Williams was called on again a minute later, palming Matt Richards' long range effort away for a corner. 
Andy Robinson's corner wouldn't quite fall kindly for James Wallace on 38 minutes and the midfielder's shot took a deflection over the bar from eight yards out.
Bakayogo headed Wright's cross out of the path of Paul Parry on 40 minutes but the home side took the lead through the aerial route in first half injury time. A free kick was whipped into the area by Wright though Fon Williams got a hand to Marvin Morgan's powerful header, the keeper was unable to prevent the ball from hitting the net.
Liam Palmer fired over the bar from 25 yards in the first attack of the second half  and Joe Thompson shot past the right hand post after Akpa Akpro's inital effort was blocked. 
After Wright had missed with his far post attempt on goal for Shrewsbury, Rovers had a good chance to level. Robinson's left wing cross was met by Akpa Akpro inside the six yard box but the striker's header went wide of the target.
Fon Williams kept the deficit at one with a fine save from Gornell's 20 yard shot and the ex-Rovers striker had a great opportunity to put his side ahead on 58 minutes after being put clean through by Wright, but his left foot effort slammed into the side netting. 
A frantic minute of action saw Fon Williams save Morgan's left foot shot before Rovers counter attacked and Cassidy had one effort blocked and a second saved by the feet of Chris Weale.
Cole Stockton and Abdulai Bell-Baggie were introduced in place of Cassidy and Thompson on 63 minutes and the former had a chance to level on 70 minutes after the ball was cleared straight into his path, but his 20 yard right foot shot went over the bar.
Gibson got a vital block in on 86 minutes to prevent Morgan turning in from Grandison's low cross and a couple of minutes later Rovers drew level. 
Stockton worked his way towards the area and found Robinson. He kept possession before playing out wide to Bell-Baggie. The substitute looped a cross towards the back post and Palmer headed back across goal to Akpa Akpro who side footed in from close range.
The hosts almost restored their lead immediately. Gibson's block gave the Shrews a corner and it needed a stunning one handed save from Fon Williams to keep out Morgan's header, the keeper pushing the ball onto the bar and away from goal.
There was one last chance for Rovers, but Robinson's drilled free kick went straight through the area and out the other side.

Shrewsbury: Weale, Grandison, Summerfield (Hall 75), Jones, Purdie, Wright, Richards, Morgan, Parry, Hector, Gornell (Bradshaw 88). Substitutes: Anyon, Jacobson, Taylor, Hazell, Wildig.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Gibson, Bakayogo, Thompson (Bell-Baggie 63), Wallace, Palmer, Robinson, Akpa Akpro, Cassidy (Stockton 63). Substitutes: Mooney, Kay, Harrison, Power, Kirby.

Referee: Steve Rushton

Yellow cards: 

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