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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 04 Jul 15 at 09:52 AM

It was a night for the Tranmere defence to remember.
Goals from Liam Ridehalgh, Ritchie Sutton, Michael Ihiekwe and Matt Hill earned Rovers a 4-1 victory at the Gateshead International Stadium and took the Club's record to two wins out of two in 2015-16.
Hill's stunning strike was his first in a Tranmere shirt, while Sutton's was his first in almost 250 appearances as a professional footballer, while there was also a return to competitive football for centre back Marcus Holness after seven months out injured.
Gary Brabin made just one change to the side that defeated Woking, with the injured James Norwood replaced by Andy Mangan. 
Gateshead striker Jon Shaw shot over Scott Davies and the crossbar in the third minute after a Ritchie Sutton block deflected into his path. 
Rovers responded well, with Cole Stockton heading over from a drilled Liam Ridehalgh cross following good work from Lois Maynard in midfield. 
Davies gathered near his goal line after a scramble following a corner in the seventh minute and the keeper saved from Ryan Bowman 15 minutes later. 
Rovers soaked up the home side's pressure and, after a long spell in their own half, took the lead on 30 minutes. Stockton and Mangan combined well inside the area and Mangan's low ball through the six yard box was turned in by Liam Ridehalgh at the back post.
Gateshead looked for a swift reply as Bowman volleyed over after controlling with his chest on 33 minutes and Davies plucked an attempt from Jimmy Phillips out of the air soon after. 
However, Brabin's Rovers went 2-0 up on 41 minutes. Ridehalgh's cross was met by Ritchie Sutton with his header going in off defender Craig Baxter at the back post. 
And two became three soon after. Mangan held the ball up deep on the left, played it back to Ridehalgh and his cross was powered in at the back post by Michael Ihiekwe. 
But the advantage was back to two in first half injury time, as Shaw rose above the Tranmere defence to head low past Davies from Baxter's right wing cross. 
Adam Mekki replaced Ridehalgh for the second half and the winger fired over after a minute of being on the pitch. 
Maynard saw his 25 yard shot deflect straight to Gateshead keeper Sam Russell on 50 minutes while Mangan was penalised after battling his way through to a one on one on 57 minutes.
Gateshead made a double change on the hour mark with former Rovers loanee Danny Johnson coming on as part of a three man attack.
But within six minutes Tranmere were 4-1 up. Matt Hill surged through the Gateshead half and fired into the top right corner from 35 yards, with the keeper firmly rooted to the spot.
Ihiekwe did well to block a goalbound effort from Simon Ramsden on 74 minutes and Davies saved from Johnson low at his near post five minutes later. 
Liam Hogan hooked a tricky cross over his own bar on 87 minutes while Jamie Chandler fired a low shot past the right hand post from 25 yards in added time.
There was still time for Holness to make his return to competitive football, with the defender playing out the final couple of minutes as a makeshift striker. 

Gateshead: Russell, Baxter, Curtis, Clark, Cransto, Gillies, Ramsden (McLaughlin 82), Chandler, Phillips (Ramshaw 60), Shaw (Johnson 60), Bowman. Substitutes: MacDonald, Buddle.

Tranmere: Davies, Ihiekwe, Sutton, Hogan, Hill, Harris, Jennings, Maynard, Ridehalgh (Mekki 45HT), Mangan, Stockton (Holness 90+2). Substitutes: Turner, Riley, Margetts. 

Referee: Adrian Holmes

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