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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

14 February 2023 Venue University of Bradford Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Bradford City

13 February 2023

Tranmere Rovers look to build on a big win last weekend at home to Salford City, as Micky Mellon’s side hit the road to face Bradford City on Tuesday evening.

Tranmere Rovers could go just one point from the play off places should results go their way tomorrow evening, but a strong Bradford side stand in their way.

The hosts, Bradford City, sit in 8th place in the Sky Bet League Two table, and three points could solidify their position in the play-offs – however, they come into the game with just one win in the last five.

A win for Tranmere on the weekend meant that Rovers have now done the double over Salford City – and Bradford look to do the same to Tranmere this mid-week, with the reverse fixture at Prenton Park in September ending in a 2-1 win for City.

Rovers have won more of fixtures against the Bantams since the first meeting between the two sides in 1927, with Tranmere winning 37 and drawing 20 out of 89 ties.

The home team come into the game with just 5 home wins all season, drawing 6 and losing 3. This could provide motivation for the Whites side visiting The University of Bradford Stadium.

One To Watch: Andy Cook

A familiar name to all Rovers fans, Andy Cook, is one to watch for the Tranmere defence on Tuesday evening.

The English striker, aged 32, started his career in the Carlisle United Academy at a very young age, before signing his first professional contract in 2009. He failed to make an appearance for United, with loan moves out to Workington and Barrow across a 2-year spell.

He later signed permanently for Barrow, and across 3 spells (2 loans and permanent transfer), Cook featured 74 times, scoring 19 goals.

This got his move to Grimsby Town where he stayed for 2 years, scoring 14 in 73 games, before moving back to Barrow for his fourth spell at the club, where he scored 47 goals in 87 games.

He then made his move to Prenton Park, where he was a key part in Tranmere’s promotion back to League Two, scoring 49 goals in 85 games.

Walsall then signed Cook on a permanent basis and moved then to Mansfield in 2019. He enjoyed loan spells with Tranmere Rovers and Bradford, before moving to Bradford on a transfer – and has since made 87 appearances over the two spells, scoring 34 goals.

This season, he has scored 18 goals in 31 games – meaning he is definitely one to watch for Tranmere.

The Manager: Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes is one of the most prolific managers of this footballing era, and has managed Bradford City since February 2022.

Born in Wales, Hughes came through the Manchester United Academy System, where he signed his first professional deal aged 17, playing 89 times for the first team in the heart of the attack, scoring 37 times.

He then joined Barcelona, where he only featured 28 times over a 2-year spell, however, also enjoyed a loan move in Germany with Bayern Munich at this time.

He returned to Manchester United, scoring 83 goals in 256 appearances between 1988 and 1995, before signing for Chelsea.

He also signed for numerous other clubs towards the end of his playing career, including Southampton, Everton and Blackburn Rovers, as well as featuring 72 times for the Welsh National Team.

He took his first step into management as a player-manager, whilst still playing for Southampton, as he managed Wales between 1999 and 2004.

He then took his first step into club management where he managed the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, Southampton and Queens Park Rangers, but will be best known for his 5-year management spell at Stoke City.

Match Coverage:

Tuesday's game will be streamed live on iFollow in both the UK and abroad! Click here to get your match pass now for just £10

You can also follow the action through our social media channels below, with full text coverage during the fixture, followed by a match report. 

Twitter: @tranmererovers 

Facebook: @trfcofficial 

Instagram: @tranmererovers 

Match reaction from Micky Mellon and a player will follow on our website and YouTube channel.

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Match Reports

Bradford City 2-0 Tranmere Rovers

14 February 2023

Tranmere Rovers suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Bradford City in Sky Bet League Two at Valley Parade on Tuesday night.

Goals from Jamie Walker and Andy Cook secured Mark Hughes’ Bantams the three points, as Rovers were defeated on their travels.  

Manager Micky Mellon made one change to his starting line-up from Saturday’s 1-0 win against Salford City at Prenton Park, with Kyle Jameson replacing Jordan Turnbull.

Rovers started strongly on a misty night in West Yorkshire, and inside six minutes, Ethan Bristow overlapped Josh Hawkes to deliver a pinpoint cross into the six-yard box from the left, which went through a crowd of players and could not be met by a white shirt. 

Josh Dacres-Cogley's resulting long throw was headed out by a Bradford man but only to Hawkes, who saw his half-volley go high and over the crossbar.

Matt Derbyshire received a lofted pass from Ritchie Smallwood, however fortunately for Rovers, the experienced forward was offside as he hit his shot over. 

Bradford threatened midway through the half when former Rovers striker Cook glanced Smallwood’s cross wide of Mateusz Hewelt’s post after a corner had been initially cleared. 

Bristow again put in a superb low cross, which was unable to be turned in by Harvey Saunders or Kane Hemmings, as goalkeeper Harry Lewis managed to push the loose ball to safety.

Minutes later, Rovers went close as Dacres-Cogley found captain Hemmings on the edge of the area, but his low strike was charged down by defender Sam Stubbs.

On the half-hour, Cook's build-up play led to Walker’s well-struck 25-yard strike heading over Hewelt’s crossbar. 

On 37 minutes, Rovers were handed an injury blow when Kieron Morris was forced off after being brought down, and he was replaced by Logan Chalmers.

Rovers were behind at the interval following Walker’s 42nd minute opener. Liam Ridehalgh played a neat one-two with Smallwood to cross for Walker who beat Hewelt with a deflected left-footed effort.

As play resumed for the second-half, Brad Halliday threaded a pass through to Cook, and a combination of Tom Davies and Dacres-Cogley.

Jameson was later well-positioned to head Mo Eisa’s dangerous cross, as Cook lurked inside the box.

Pushing for an equaliser, Regan Hendry’s run forward down the left but his clipped cross was headed clear by Matthew Platt.

The on-loan midfielder from Forest Green was involved in Tranmere’s next attacking move ten minutes into the half. His free-kick was met by Davies at the back post, but the Bantams cleared.

Rovers survived a scare shortly after. Smallwood’s whipped free-kick from the left caused a scramble when Stubbs flicked on, but neither Cook nor Matty Platt could force it goalwards, and the ball was thumped up field by the TRFC defence.

On the hour, Hendry’s powerful drive was thwarted by Stubbs before Chalmers’ follow-up did not trouble Lewis.

Mellon made a double change on 61 minutes, as Joe Mumbongo and Jay Turner-Cooke were brought onto replace Hemmings and Hawkes. 

Hendry went close for Rovers with 65 minutes on the clock, profiting from Davies’ headed knockdown to drill his left-footed shot from the left side of the box across goal, which crept just past Lewis’ post.

Lee O’Connor drove forward with possession, having threaded a great pass through to Mumbongo, the substitute could not get the ball out of his feet, and was tackled by Platt.

Tranmere conceded a second goal in the 74thminute. Cook’s looping header from Adam Clayton’s right-sided corner went over Hewelt and found the bottom right-corner.

Rovers return to Prenton Park on Saturday when they host Mansfield Town, kick-off 3pm. 

Tranmere: Hewelt, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Jameson, Bristow, O’Connor, Hendry, Morris (Chalmers 35), Hawkes (Turner-Cooke 61), Saunders, Hemmings © (Mumbongo 61)

Subs not used: Murphy, Merrie, Lewis, Burton

Match action sponsor: Mortgage Broker Media

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