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Match Report


Posted Fri 20 Jun 14 at 18:25 PM

Tranmere battled from two goals behind to secure a point at Prenton Park against Stevenage. A Michael Ihiekwe own goal and a Lee Barnard strike had given the visitors a 2-0 advantage before Steven Jennings and Ihiekwe, in the final minute of injury time, made the scoreline 2-2 and ensured that Micky Adams maintains his unbeaten start as Rovers manager.

Tranmere manager Micky Adams made two changes to the line-up from the 2-2 draw against AFC Wimbledon last weekend. In came new loan signing Steven Jennings, for his third Rovers debut, along with Kayode Odejayi. Jake Kirby dropped down to the substitutes' bench while George Barker missed out altogether.

The first effort of the game came in the opening minute. The ball was miscontrolled by a Stevenage defender and fell to Danny Johnson who turned and curled a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

The visitors opened the scoring on 14 minutes. Charlie Adams picked up the ball on the left wing and his powerful low cross was bundled into his own net by Michael Ihiekwe.

Adams was causing trouble again eight minutes later. A cleverly worked free-kick set him clear down the left and he hit another low cross which richoteted off the near post before the Tranmere defence cleared their lines.

Soon after, one of the assistant referees pulled up injured and had to be replaced by the fourth official.

A foul on Marc Laird was awarded on the edge of the D of the penalty area on 34 minutes. Johnson stepped up but again his effort was a little bit too high.

On the stroke of half-time, a lovely ball by Max Power played in Janoi Donacien down the right flank but his low cross into the penalty area evaded a decisive touch and it went out for a Stevenage goal-kick as the sides went in at the break with Stevenage a goal to the good.

Stevenage had the opening opportunity of the second half. A deep cross by Ronnie Henry on the right found Charlie Lee at the back post who took a touch and fired goalwards but it was defelected wide off Donacien.

Rovers went straight down the other end and had a chance of their own. Power played a ball into the box from the right which was met by the onrushing Laird whose header was saved by Chris Day in the visitors' goal.

On 49 minutes, Power tried his luck from 25 yards but his powerful strike sailed over the crossbar.

Micky Adams made his first substitution on 57 minutes with Liam Ridehalgh coming on in place of Johnson with Tranmere reverting to a back three as they did last week at Wimbledon.

Stevenage doubled their lead on 64 minutes. A long ball up the pitch by goalkeeper Day was met by Ihiekwe who could only head across to Lee Barnard who got ahead of Marcuss Holness to poke the ball past fon Williams.

Tranmere pulled a goal back two minutes later. A corner from the left was half cleared with the ball falling to Steven Jennings on the right edge of the penalty area who drilled the ball home.

Rovers made a double change on 71 minutes with Danny Holmes and Kayode Odejayi replaced with George Donnelly and Eliot Richards.

On 77 minutes, Ridehalgh and then Laird put cross into the box but Armand Gnanduillet on both occasions failed to make the desired contact before he tried his luck from 25 yards but the ball flew over the top of the goal.

In the third minute of second half injury time, Power's corner from the right found Gnanduillet but the striker's header went narrowly wide of the target.

In the dying embers of the game, a ball into the box was not dealt with by the Stevenage defence and it landed at the feet of Ihiekwe who blasted home from 12 yards for his first Tranmere goal and the secure Rovers another point under Micky Adams.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Donacien, Ihiekwe, Holness, Holmes (Richards 71), Power, Jennings, Laird, Johnson (Ridehalgh 58), Gnanduillet, Odejayi (Donnelly 71). Substitutes: Ramsbottom, Thompson, Kirby, Baggie.

Stevenage: Day, Ashton (Deacon 76), Whelpdale, Charles, McAllister, Wells, Beardsley (Walton 26), Lee, Henry, Barnard, Adams (Okimo 63). Substitutes: Beasant, Pett, Jebb, Clarke.

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Yellow cards: Whelpdale (19), Wells (82), Gnanduillet (82), Barnard (90+2)

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