Keith Hill made a happy return to the University of Bolton Stadium as Tranmere Rovers ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Bolton Wanderers.
Goals from Peter Clarke, Keiron Morris and James Vaughan sealed a deserved three points and by doing so delivering an early Christmas present to Tranmere fans supporters watching on from home.
Jack Young, Liam Ridehalgh, Sid Nelson, Vaughan and Corey Blackett-Taylor came into the starting line up with Manny Monthe, Danny Lloyd, Kaiyne Woolery, Otis Khan and Lee O’Connor dropping out.
Blackett-Taylor and former Bolton man, Liam Feeney, both had shots within the first two minutes, both from the left hand side, but neither were a test for Matt Gilks.
At the other end, the returning Harry Brockbank had a shot on goal and Nathan Delfouneso struck over from a mistake at the back by Tranmere.
Bolton were picking up speed at the University of Bolton Stadium, as Eoin Doyle had two efforts on goal within 20 seconds, the first saved by Scott Davies, the second, creeping past the post.
Tranmere weathered the storm and soon started their own attack, with Blackett-Taylor hitting the post from just inside the penalty area. Minutes later, Vaughan hit the cross bar but the linesman had his flag up anyway.
Rovers’ pressure paid dividends in the 28th minute as Feeney whipped in a dangerous corner into the penalty area and the commanding Clarke climbed above a crowd of white shirts to power a header into the back of the net and give Tranmere the lead.
The second half began with a close call as a deflected shot from a Bolton player hit Vaughan and nearly crept past Davies after hitting the post, but our Club captain soon smothered up the loose ball.
Tranmere fought back with a chance of their own as Vaughan bullied his way past the Bolton defence, and with Feeney an option, he opted to shoot but his effort crashed wide.
Unfortunately, with 56 minutes played, midfielder Jay Spearing pulled up when it looked like he took a shot on the edge of the box and had to be replaced by Ollie Banks.
Bolton were pushing for the equaliser but Tranmere’s defence continued to bat away balls which came into the penalty area.
Rovers were still looking a threat when moving the ball inside the Bolton half, and they sat off Morris, who was given the time to drive forward and hit a low shot from 20-yards into the far corner, leaving ex Blackpool goalkeeper Gilks stranded.
Bolton nearly brought the deficit back down to one, as Bolton substitute Ali Crawford pulled the best out of Davies, as he palmed a long-distance strike away for a corner.
Tranmere heaped more misery on their hosts with just over 15 minutes to play as Bolton’s Alex Baptiste handballed a shot from Ferrier. Top goal scorer Vaughan stepped up and hammered the ball into the back of the net, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
In the 88th minute, Rovers made a triple change as former Bolton man Woolery, O’Connor and Lloyd came on to Feeney, Vaughan and Morris.
Rovers comfortably held onto their convincing win against the Bolton to seal a valuable three points before Christmas.
Our next match will be at home to Bradford City on Boxing Day, 3pm kick-off. The match will be available to watch on iFollow for just £10 and you can subscribe now by CLICKING HERE.
TRFC: Davies, Ridehalgh, Nelson, Clarke, MacDonald, Spearing (Banks 56), Young, Morris (Lloyd 88), Feeney (O’Connor 88), Blackett-Taylor (Ferrier 67), Vaughan (Woolery 88). Unused subs: Murphy, Ray
The main report is sponsored by MAIN.