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Match Report


Posted Sat 04 Jul 15 at 09:53 AM

Andy Mangan's first goal in a Tranmere shirt gave the Whites all three points as they beat FC Halifax Town 1-0 at Prenton Park.

Rovers wasted chances and had to be patient to break stubborn visiting resistance, but found the breakthrough after 75 minutes as Mangan collected Liam Ridehalgh's pass and slotted into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Gary Brabin made two changes to his starting line-up with Martin Riley replacing the injured Liam Hogan and Jonny Margetts coming in his Tranmere debut, taking the place of James Norwood up front. Meanwhile, Michael Ihiekwe was making his 50th Tranmere appearance since joining the club from Wolves in the summer of 2014.

Lois Maynard, playing against his former club for whom he won Player of the Year last season, found space on the edge of the penalty area to drive in a low shot which was held by Matt Glennon in the Halifax goal.

Some neat interplay between strikers Margetts and Mangan gave the former a chance but, after rolling a defender inside the area, Margetts dragged the shot wide of the far post from 12 yards.

Sean Tuton's shot on the turn went over Scott Davies' crossbar as the visitors registered their first serious attempt on goal whilst Maynard repeated his earlier effort and hit a shot straight at former Huddersfield goalkeeper Glennon.

There was a moment of panic in the Rovers rearguard as Sutton botched a clearance from six yards and Riley's attempt to sort the problem saw his clearance cannon off his defensive partner and into the air to be caught by Davies.

Ihiekwe had a hat-trick of chances to score on his landmark appearance but put one header wide from Ridehalgh's free-kick, saw a shot blocked away for a corner which he met with another header, which was off-target.

Rovers were continuing to build pressure. Maynard's header set Mangan in on goal and the striker forced Glennon into a smart save at his near post.

Margetts forced Glennon into action twice inside a minute, latching onto Mangan's chipped pass and driving in a shot which the keeper stopped with his legs. From the corner, the striker met Ridehalgh's cross and had Glennon stretching to tip it over.

On the stroke of half-time Halifax captain Hamza Bencherif tried his luck from 30 yards and stung the palms of Davies, who got firm hands on the ball to divert it away from danger.

The second half began with Brabin's side on the offensive; Mangan's placed shot from 20 yards was smothered by Glennon after the striker had collected Maynard's header and jinked beyond a defender.

Ridehalgh weaved past two challenges and into the penalty area only to see his effort get a deflection to take the power from the shot, making it easy for Glennon to grasp.

Some individual brilliance from Mangan brought the next chance. The striker sent a defender one way whilst moving the other before poking a shot wide with the outside of the boot.

Jay Harris had a shot deflected over from 20 yards and Halifax broke dangerously from the resulting counter only for an offside flag to halt their progress, though Davies had made a fine save to deny Elliot Whitehouse.

With just over a quarter of an hour to go, Rovers broke the deadlock. Ridehalgh's incisive pass found Mangan, who had ghosted beyond the Halifax defence, and the striker made no mistake, slotting coolly into the bottom corner to lift the roof off Prenton Park.

Trying to find a way back into the game, former Chester midfielder Kingsley James fired towards goal for Halifax but Davies was easily equal to the effort before the Shaymen came closer to an equaliser when Scott McManus curled a free-kick a couple of inches past the post.

Goalscorer Mangan was a livewire up front and his sharpness manufactured another chance as he sashayed past a defender before curling straight at Glennon from the edge of the area.

There were three nervy minutes of stoppage time but the Whites held on for three points, a third win from four games and consecutive clean sheets for the first time since mid-January.

Tranmere: Davies; Ihiekwe, Sutton, Riley, Hill; Jennings, Harris, Maynard; Ridehalgh, Margetts, Mangan. Substitutes: Turner, Holness, Mekki, Kirby, Stockton.

FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Bolton, McManus, James, Bencherif (Hughes 77), Whitehouse (MacDonald 82), Burrow, Brown, Roberts, Hibbs, Tuton. Substitutes: Porter, Walker, Bishop.

Referee: Steven Rushton 

Goals: Mangan (74)
Yellow cards: Bolton (23), Sutton (24), Hill (39), Maynard (52), Tuton (64), Ihiekwe (68), Brown (70)

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