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Match Report

 

Posted Wed 17 Jul 13 at 11:22 AM

Two goals from Joe Thompson and a late Ryan Lowe strike earned Rovers their first point of the season and a 3-3 draw against Crawley Town. 
The visitors took an early lead only for Tranmere to lead at half time thanks to Joe Thompson's brace. 
However, a Billy Clarke strike from close range and Joe Walsh's goal nine minutes from time looked set to earn the visitors all three points until Lowe netted deep in injury time.  
Ronnie Moore made one change to the team that started against Mansfield with Max Power returning to take the place of James Rowe in midfield. 
After a cagey start to the game the visitors took the lead in the ninth minute. A free kick was awarded for a foul by Evan Horwood on Billy Clarke and Joe Walsh headed into the top left corner from eight yards from Andy Drury's cross after losing his marker. 
The lead was shortlived. On 15 minutes Crawley cleared a corner from Horwood but Andy Robinson was on hand to prevent a counter attack and play the ball back to Fon Williams. The keeper's clearance was flicked on by Akpo Sodje, chested down by Ryan Lowe and Joe Thompson controlled before sending a left foot shot past Paul Jones and into the bottom left corner to equalise. 
On 19 minutes Jamie Proctor shot a yard past Fon Williams' right hand post from 20 yards after good work from Clarke while Lowe and Robinson combined well at the other end only for the latter's cross to be blocked by Mark Connolly. 
On 27 minutes Robinson and Lowe linked on the left before releasing Horwood. His cross was cleared by Connolly but only as far as Chris Atkinson and the midfielder's volley went just past the top right corner. 
Andy Drury brought a save out of Fon Williams from 25 yards on 28 minutes while Foster did well to get his body in the way of a shot from Mike Jones on 43 minutes. 
Less than a minute later Tranmere took the lead. A miss hit clearance from Paul Jones landed at the feet of Thompson 40 yards from goal and the winger had a clean run through to the area where he rolled a shot past the keeper into the bottom right corner. 
After dominating the first ten minutes of the second half Crawley drew level. James Hurst overlapped on the right wing and got past the challenge of Power and his low cross through the six yard box was tapped in by Clarke. 
Sodje beat Jones to an aerial challenge on 57 minutes but headed wide from six yards before being replaced by Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro moments later. 
A Horwood free kick was headed across goal by Taylor and Foster on 60 minutes but Thompson's attempt at completing his hat-trick was blocked by a defender and Atkinson fired over from the rebound. 
Jason Koumas replaced Power in midfield on 64 minutes while Lowe headed wide from a Horwood cross seven minutes later and Akpa Akpro stung the hands of Jones with a 25 yard drive.
However, on 81 minutes the visitors regained the lead. A corner from the right fell loose to Walsh and the defender found the bottom right corner from 12 yards. 
Thompson saw a 92nd minute shot blocked on its way to goal while Akpa Akpro volleyed wide a the back post two minutes later from Koumas' cross.
There was one final chance for Rovers. A corner won by Robinson was crossed in by Horwood and Foster's flick on was turned in by Lowe at the back post for his first goal for the Club. 
And there was still time for Crawley to almost net a fourth, but Fon Williams held on to Alexander's shot at the second attempt before the final whistle blew.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Foster, Horwood, Thompson, Power (Koumas 64), Atkinson, Robinson, Lowe, Sodje (Akpa Akpro 57). Unused substitutes: Mooney, Goodison, Rowe, Baggie, Stockton.

Crawley: P.Jones, Hurst, Sadler, Connolly, Walsh, Drury, Simpson, Adams (Bulman 90+1), M.Jones, Clarke (McFadzean 84), Proctor (Alexander 76). Unused substitutes: Maddison, Essam, Torres, Rooney.

Referee: Keith Hill

Yellow cards: Horwood (8), Power (28), Robinson (54)

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