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Match Report


Posted Sat 04 Jul 15 at 09:52 AM

Jay Harris scored a stunning goal to ensure Tranmere Rovers began their Vanarama National League campaign with a 1-0 win at home to Woking.
The midfielder crashed in from 20 yards to break the deadlock after a nervy opening hour and his strike was enough for the three points on the opening day.
Gary Brabin named six debutants in his starting line-up with Scott Davies, Liam Hogan, Ritchie Sutton, Lois Maynard, Harris and James Norwood all starting a competitive game in the white shirt for the first time.
All five of Tranmere's substitutes were summer signings awaiting their debuts.
Rovers started well and could have had a penalty when the ball struck the hand of a defender as Cole Stockton tried to turn on the edge of the area but referee Simon Bennett waved play on.
Harris prodded an effort straight at Woking goalkeeper Jake Cole from 20 yards and Michael Ihiekwe sent a shot over the bar as the Whites continued to pile on the pressure.
There was a scare for Tranmere as Sutton was robbed of possession inside the area but Matt Hill was on hand to clear John Goddard's low shot off the line.
Kieran Murtagh sent an ambitious 30-yard striker arcing over Davies' crossbar before Ismail Yakubu headed into the arms of the goalkeeper with Woking showing that they had no intention of coming to Prenton Park and rolling over.
Maynard made a break on the left of midfield, getting the better Jake Caprice, but the powerful midfielder miscued his pass with Norwood waiting to pounce in the six-yard box.
Another chance materialised after half an hour when Stockton headed Norwood's cross towards goal but the goalkeeper was able to palm the ball away from danger.
Woking striker Scott Rendell, who had scored more than 40 goals over the past two National League seasons, had to be taken from the pitch on a stretcher shortly before half-time after picking up an injury when defending a Rovers free-kick.
In first half injury time, Norwood went down under a challenge trying to get on the end of a Liam Ridehalgh cross but the referee ended the half as he began it by denying Tranmere a penalty.
Confusion between Hill and Sutton gave Bruno Andrade a sight of goal five minutes into the second half but the winger was unable to take advantage, slashing at the ball to send it wide of the target.
Stockton smashed wide from 18 yards when Norwood's blocked effort fell to him but the deadlock was broken minutes later in spectacular style.
Norwood drew a foul 20 yards out and the set-piece was laid off to Harris, who almost broke the net with a thunderbolt into the top corner.
Adam Mekki replaced Norwood just after the hour mark with Brabin tweaking his system and moving to 4-2-3-1.
Ridehalgh flicked a header wide from Ihiekwe's cross before the game became a battle in midfield with neither side threatening the opposition's goalkeeper.
Woking substitute Giuseppe Sole wasted a chance to equalise for the Cards by lashing a free-kick into the back of the away end in stoppage time as Rovers won on the opening day for the first time since the 2012/13 season.

Tranmere: Davies; Ihiekwe, Sutton, Hogan, Hill; Jennings, Harris, Maynard; Ridehalgh, Stockton, Norwood (Mekki 64). Substitutes: Turner, Mangan, Riley, Margetts.

Woking: Cole; Caprice (Beckles 79), Arthur, Ricketts, Saah, Yakubu, Jones, Murtagh, Rendell (Sole 41), Goddard, Andrade (Daniel 67). Substitutes: Poke, Hamman.

Referee: Simon BennettĀ 

Goals: Harris (57)
Attendance: 5,583 (170 away)

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