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Match Report


Posted Fri 20 Jun 14 at 18:23 PM

It was a game of two halves at Prenton Park as Tranmere conceded a first half lead to lose 3-2 against Cheltenham Town.
First half strikes from Eliot Richards and Marc Laird were cancelled out by second half strikes from Matt Richards and Koby Arthur before Jordan Wynter popped up with the winner for the Robins.
Manager Rob Edwards named an unchanged side for the first time this season following Tuesday night's 2-0 success at Wycombe Wanderers. For the visitors, striker Terry Gornell returned to Prenton Park in the starting line-up while fellow former Rover Paul Black was on the substitutes' bench.
The first chance of the game fell to Cheltenham on three minutes. A cross from the right by Lee Vaughan was headed straight at Owain fon Williams by Robins forward Byron Harrison.
That was soon followed by a move down the other end as Jake Kirby played in Eliot Richards 25 yards from goal who dragged shot wide.
The opening goal came on 12 minutes following some lovely football by Tranmere. Danny Woodards and Max Power did well on the right and played in Richards who drifted in from the right past two challenges and slid the ball into the bottom corner of the net for his first competitive goal for the club.
Midway through the first half, the Robins began a spell of pressure. Firstly they won a corner kick and from that set play the ball pinballed around the Tranmere penalty area before Steve Elliott fired a shot high and wide of fon Williams' goal.
Down the other end, Matt Hill threaded a ball over to Cole Stockton in the penalty area. The striker turned his defender and hit a shot just wide of the near post.
Cheltenham had the next chance on goal. After a mishit clearance by Power, the ball fell to Craig Braham-Barratt who hit a curling effort from 25 yards just over the cross bar.
Fon Williams had to produce a good save from a 20 yard shot by Jason Taylor before Braham-Barratt hit a powerful effort from the left corner of the penalty area which flew across goal but narrowly wide of the target.
Five minutes before half time, another Cheltenham corner came in from the left which wasn't cleared and it ended with Elliott sending a powerful header over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
On the stroke of half time, Rovers doubled their lead. Stockton did well to win the ball on the halfway line and played the ball across to Marc Laird who, after a rebound back off the defender, curled a low effort in off the post from 20 yards for his first goal for the club and to send Tranmere in at the break two goals to the good.
The Robins made a change at half-time with centre-back Elliott being replaced by midfielder Omari Sterling-James.
He almost made an immediate impact as his shot was blocked by Ihiekwe on the edge of the ball with the ball falling to Jordan Wynter who drove an effort from the right side of the box right across goal but wide of the far post.
Sterling was inches away from getting a goal back for the Robins on 50 minutes. A ball in from the left by Braham-Barratt was met by a diving header from the substitute which hit the inside of the post and away to safety.
Eliot Richards forced a save out a good save out of Cheltenham goalkeeper Trevor Carson on 54 minutes. Hill won the ball just inside the opposition half and laid it off to Richards whose shot from 25 yards was deflected and parried wide of the goal by the Robins shot-stopper.
Danny Holmes came on to replace Woodards on 57 minutes and a minute after coming on he picked up a yellow card for a foul on Braham-Barratt.
Tranmere nearly made it 3-0 on the hour mark. Stockton did well on the right and drilled in a low cross which found Jake Kirby at the far post but he couldn't control his shot and the ball went wide.
Jason Koumas stung the palms of Carson on 65 minutes. Neat play by Holmes and Power saw the ball played in to the Welshman who curled a powerful shot on target which Carson saved to his left.
Midway through the second half, Cheltenham pulled a goal back. The ball found its way to midfielder Matt Richards who took the ball wide of fon Williams and fired in from close range.
On 69 minutes, moments after Eliot Richards had been replaced by James Rowe, the scores were level. Robins' substitute Koby Arthur got the ball 25 yards out and fired a thunderous drive past the dive of fon Williams into the bottom corner of the net.
The complete turnaround saw Cheltenham take the lead on 73 minutes. A low cross from the left by Braham-Barratt was turned home at the back post by Wynter.
With 13 minutes remaining, Rob Edwards made his final change with Kayode Odejayi replacing Kirby but it was not enough to have the desired effect at Cheltenham saw out the game and take all three points.
Tranmere: Fon Williams, Woodards (Holmes 57), Ihiekwe, Holness, Hill, Richards (Rowe 69), Power, Laird, Kirby  (Odejayi 77), Koumas, Stockton. Substitutes: Ramsbottom, Donacien, Gill, Bruna.

Cheltenham: Carson, Vaughan, Braham-Barratt, Matthew Taylor, Brown, Elliott (Sterling-James 45 HT (Hanks 90+4)), Wynter, Richards, Harrison, Gornell (Arthur 63), Jason Taylor. Substitutes: Haworth, Deaman, Hanks, Black, Reynolds.

Referee: Nigel Miller

Yellow cards: Brown (28), Holmes (58), Harrison (79)

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