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Match Report


Posted Sat 04 Jul 15 at 09:58 AM

Tranmere's play-off hopes were dealt a blow as Wrexham came away from Prenton Park with a 2-1 win. 

Kayden Jackson opened the scoring, taking advantage of Steve McNulty's underhit back-pass to slide the ball past Scott Davies after a quarter of an hour. 

Tranmere dominated for large spells of the second half and got the equaliser their efforts deserved as James Norwood fired in from the penalty spot for his 20th goal of the season. 

But it was Wrexham who would come out on top with Sean Newton's header from an 85th-minute corner proving decisive, leaving Rovers with an uphill struggle to make the play-offs. 

Gary Brabin made one change to the side which won 1-0 at Torquay United the previous weekend as a fully-fit Adam Mekki returned to the starting line-up in place of Lois Maynard, who dropped to the bench. 

As expected in a derby game of high importance, it was a cagey, scrappy opening to the contest. The first effort on goal came from Tranmere's top scorer as Norwood fired wide with his left foot after the ball fell invitingly for the striker 25 yards out. 

The visitors responded and came close to opening the scoring as Newton wriggled through a couple of challenges before side-footing a shot narrowly past the far post from the edge of the penalty area. 

Michael Ihiekwe headed over from a Mekki corner as both sides pressed to find the opening goal in the first 10 minutes. 

It arrived shortly afterwards - McNulty's back-pass lacked the requisite power to reach Davies, allowing Jackson to intercept the loose ball, advance into the area and slot past the goalkeeper from 12 yards. 

Wrexham looked to increase their advantage with captain Connor Jennings stinging the palms of Davies with a low shot. The move was recycled and ended with midfielder Lee Fowler curling speculatively off-target from distance. 

The visitors were in command and almost added to their lead when Connor Jennings' cross found Newton at the far post but he headed tamely at Davies. 

Mekki flicked a Liam Ridehalgh cross over the bar as Tranmere searched for a route back into the contest. 

Newton whipped a free-kick over the top of the crossbar in the final minutes of the half and an enterprising run by Mekki saw him smack a shot wide as the sides went into the break with Wrexham leading by a solitary goal. 

Tranmere began the second half on the front foot: Jay Harris clipped a cross to the back post but it floated just over the head of Michael Higdon. 

Then Higdon's header caused problems in the visiting backline, goalkeeper Rhys Taylor denying Harris a goal against his former club. 

Goalscorer Jackson threatened again as he skipped past two Tranmere players and shooting only to see Ihiekwe block the goalbound effort. 

Brabin brought on Jake Kirby and Gary Taylor-Fletcher in a bid to turn the game around. They replaced Higdon and Jeff Hughes. 

Mekki's venomous free-kick was flicked wide by Norwood before Kirby's cross was half a yard behind the onrushing Mekki. Tranmere were dominating and the fans turned up the noise in a bid to aid their side. 

The pressure paid off as Mekki was fouled following a short corner, giving Rovers a penalty and Norwood a chance to take his tally for the season to 20 in all competitions. 

The striker made no mistake, blasting into the bottom left corner in front of the Kop to haul Rovers level with plenty of time left to find a winning goal. 

However, it was the visitors who struck the decisive blow with five minutes remaining as a corner found Newton, whose header found the back of the net despite the best efforts of Lee Vaughan on the line. 

Connor Jennings headed wide from Robert Evans' cross in the final stages as they held on to take the victory. 

Tranmere: Davies, Vaughan, Ihiekwe, McNulty, Ridehalgh, Harris, Hughes (Taylor-Fletcher 67), Jennings, Mekki, Higdon (Kirby 61), Norwood. Substitutes: Turner, Fenwick, Maynard.

Wrexham: Taylor, Newton, Smith, Hudson (Briscoe 81), Fyfield, Fowler (Vidal 61), Jennings, Carrington, Jackson, Evans, Heslop (York 81). Substitutes: Gray, Smith.

Referee: Martin Coy  

Yellow cards: Harris (41), Vaughan (62), Heslop (74), Taylor (75), Newton (87) 
Red cards:  
Goals: Nowood (78);  Jackson (15), Newton (85) 
Attendance: 7541 (1254)

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