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Match Report


Posted Fri 20 Jun 14 at 18:26 PM

Tranmere ended 2014 with a victory as they beat Northampton Town 2-1 at Prenton Park. Kayode Odejayi had put Rovers in front on 32 minutes before Marc Richards equalised shortly before half time but substitute Jake Kirby popped up with the winner seconds after being introduced into the action to give Micky Adams' men all three points.
The Tranmere team saw two changes from the side which started at Burton Albion on Boxing Day. Kayode Odejayi replaced Cole Stockton up front while there was a first start for coach Chris Shuker after his playing return against Burton with Liam Ridehalgh missing out through suspension.
There was a familiar name in the visitors' ranks. Former Tranmere full-back Evan Horwood was named on the substitutes' bench for Northampton.
Rovers had the ball in the net on 11 minutes. A through ball by Chris Shuker found Shamir Fenelon who laid the ball across for Marc Laird who slid the ball home but the goal was disallowed for offside.
On 25 minutes, Laird won the ball in midfield and sent Fenelon clear down the left. The striker cut inside and fired a shot from 20 yards which went high and wide of the target.
Northampton had to make two changes after half an hour due to injuries to Zander Diamond and Gregor Robertson with Kelvin Langmead and Evan Horwood replacing them.
Tranmere opened the scoring after 32 minutes. Janoi Donacien sent in a low cross from the right which found Odejayi at the near post and the striker volleyed home from six yards for his third goal of the season.
Three minutes later, a deep corner from the left by Max Power found the head of Josh Thompson but the defender's header drifted wide of the goal.
The Cobblers had their first real sight of goal on 40 minutes. John-Joe O'Toole sent a cross in from the left and Marc Richards sent the ball goalwards with a header which Owain Fon Williams saved low to his right.
Northampton equalised a minute before half time. A misplaced pass was intercepted by Joel Byrom who played the ball out to Richards who blasted home past Fon Williams.
The goal was followed by an enforced Tranmere substitution with the limping Odejayi being replaced by Cole Stockton as the teams went in at the break level.
Two minutes after the restart, Fenelon found Shuker who tried his luck from 25 yards but his volleyed shot went over the crossbar.
On 51 minutes, Danny Holmes cut inside from the left and found Power whose low shot from 20 yards was saved by Cobblers goalkeeper Matt Duke down to his left.
Byrom hit a powerful effort on 57 minutes. O'Toole played the ball inside for Byrom whose effort was tipped around the post by Fon Williams.
Tranmere's second change of the game came on 63 minutes with Jake Kirby coming on in place of Shuker and it was an inspired change as the replacement put Rovers back in the lead seconds after coming on.
Power laid the ball off to Kirby on the left edge of the penalty area and he calmly side-footed the ball across the goal and inside the far post past Duke.
On 69 minutes, a ball forward by Marcus Holness found Stockton but goalkeeper Duke was quick off his line and blocked the striker's effort before it was cleared to safety.
With ten minutes remaining, a high ball into the penalty area looped high over Fon Williams but Donacien athletically cleared the ball off the line.
On 86 minutes, Power's corner from the right was half cleared by the Northampton defence. The ball fell to Steve Jennings 25 yards out but his deflected shot was saved by Duke.
In the final minute of normal time, Horwood sent in a cross from the left which found right-back Danny Alfei bursting in at the far post but he couldn't keep his effort down and it flew over the bar.
In the third minute of additional time, Tranmere made their final substitution with Guy Madjo replacing Fenelon as Rovers held on to the lead to secure maximum points from their final match of 2014.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Donacien, Holness, Thompson, Holmes, Power, Jennings, Laird, Shuker (Kirby 62), Fenelon (Madjo 90+3), Odejayi (Stockton 44). Substitutes: Brezovan, Rowe, Baggie, Jahraldo-Martin.

Northampton: Duke, Alfei, Collins, Richards, O'Toole, Hackett, Diamond (Langmead 28), Robertson (Horwood 31), Mohamed (Sinclair 68), Byrom, Murdoch. Substitutes: Carter, Tozer, Snedker, D'Ath.

Referee: Andy Haines

Yellow cards: Horwood (83), O'Toole (90+5)

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