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18 February 2023 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Mansfield Town

17 February 2023

Tranmere Rovers look to get back to winning ways on Saturday afternoon, as Mansfield Town arrive on the Wirral peninsula.

The visitors, Mansfield Town, come into the game placed 5th in the Sky Bet League Two table – and a win for Town could take them up to third, potentially solidifying their place in the play-offs.

Tranmere, struggling with consistency, look to climb to 10th in the league, 4 points from play-offs. As described by Josh Dacres-Cogley and Micky Mellon in their mid-week press conferences, the season has been ‘full of ups and downs, but that consistency of level of performance to win a game is required for where we want to be, come the end of the season’.

Rovers have won the majority of fixtures against Town, playing 85 games and winning 34, drawing 24 and losing 27.

The away side come into the tie, 30 games into the campaign, with 7 away wins and 2 draws, out of a possible 15.

One To Watch: Will Swan

Will Swan is a 22-year-old forward who has been Mansfield Town’s top scorer this season, with the youngster on loan at the One Call Stadium from Nottingham Forest.

Swan joined Forest aged 13 in their Academy setup, and signed his first professional contract in 2020. After scoring 8 goals for the U23s at the start of the 2020/21 season, Chris Houghton handed him his first appearance in November 2020 against Swansea City.

In early 2020, Will went on loan to Port Vale, where he scored 1 goal in 10 games.

He then went on loan to Mansfield in July 2022 – where he has scored 9 goals in 23 appearances so far for the Stags.

The Manager: Nigel Clough

Nigel Clough is a former professional footballer who played over 600 games in the Football League, and is current manager of Saturday’s opposition.

Clough enjoyed a youth career at Nottingham Forest before signing his first professional deal in 1984, where he stayed for 9 years – featuring 311 times, and scoring 101 goals.

He later signed for Liverpool, where he only made 39 appearances across a 3-year spell at Anfield, scoring 7 from the attacking midfield position.

He then went to Manchester City in 1996, for 2 years, and scored 4 in 39 games. He enjoyed loans twice at Nottingham Forest and at Sheffield Wednesday, before signing for Burton Albion. He played 227 times for Albion, but only scored 16 goals from a deeper position.

He represented England at National Level under the U21 basis and England ‘B’ team, as well as playing 14 times for the National Team.

He entered management as player manager of Burton in 1998 when he signed, and stayed there until his retirement as a player in 2009. He has since managed Derby County, Sheffield United and Burton Albion (second spell), before joining Mansfield Town in 2020.

He has enjoyed 1,406 games in management, with a win percentage of 40.8% - 132 of these games being with Mansfield – enjoying 59 wins.

Match Coverage:

International supporters can get their season pass to watch every game live for just £3 per game by clicking here!

UK based supporters can listen to full match commentary for as little as £1 per game by getting an audio season pass here.

You can 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

Tranmere Rovers 0-2 Mansfield Town

18 February 2023

Tranmere Rovers were defeated 2-0 at home against Mansfield Town on Saturday afternoon in Sky Bet League Two.

Riley Harbottle’s header 11 minutes before half-time saw Rovers trail the promotion-chasing Stags at the break.

Davis Keillor-Dunn extended the advantage for Nigel Clough’s men early into the second-half, which completed the scoring at Prenton Park.

Micky Mellon made three changes from Tuesday’s game at Bradford City – with Joe Murphy becoming Rovers’ oldest player aged 41, as he replaced Mateusz Hewelt in goal, while Jay Turner-Cooke and Joel Mumbongo came in for Kieron Morris and Kane Hemmings.

Rovers had two early openings at goal within five minutes. Firstly, Harvey Saunders pounced on a misplaced pass by Elliott Hewitt on the left to drag his low effort wide across goal before Lee O’Connor’s strike from distance went over the crossbar of goalkeeper Christy Pym.

Mansfield’s first threat towards the Rovers backline came minutes later when Keillor-Dunn’s cross had to be headed behind for a corner by Josh Dacres-Cogley. The resulting set-piece dropped in the box but was defended through Josh Hawkes’ clearance.

On 18 minutes, Murphy was called upon, dropping down well to thwart Lucas Akins after the attacker turned Kyle Jameson in the box having reacted the quickest from Harbottle’s long throw.

Akins was involved in Mansfield’s next opportunity, as he set off on a surging run down the right to cross into the box which was met by the unmarked Stephen Quinn, who scuffed his close-range attempt wide.

On the half-hour, stand-in captain Tom Davies produced a vital interception on the ball to head back to Murphy when Kieran Wallace’s lofted pass almost released Keillor-Dunn.

The Nottinghamshire outfit were in front after 34 minutes. Quinn played a neat one-two with Jordan Bowery from a free-kick to cross into a crowded box from the right, which Harbottle met to guide his header over the line despite the best efforts of Murphy to keep it out.

Searching for an equaliser, Dacres-Cogley linked up well with Turner-Cooke down the right, however the forward on loan from Newcastle United struck left-footed outside the box which landed off target.

Mansfield went close to a second late in the first-half, as Murphy saved from Keillor-Dunn who had been played through by James Perch.

Two minutes after half-time, Hawkes had the ball in the net after firing in a well-taken finish but he was flagged offside.

Up the other end, captain Ollie Clarke profited from Keillor-Dunn’s headed knockdown to hit a rising right-footed shot just over Murphy’s right-post.

Mansfield did have their second of the afternoon with 54 minutes on the clock. Alfie Kilgour’s long searching ball dropped to Clarke, who got in-between Jameson and Ethan Bristow – his chip was pushed onto the bar by Murphy but Keillor-Dunn followed up right-footed to put Town two ahead.

In response to the goal, Mellon made a double change, bringing Logan Chalmers and Jake Burton on in place of Turner-Cooke and Mumbongo.

Pushing to half the deficit on the Wirral, Bristow’s pinpoint cross from the left was headed over his own crossbar and to safety by Kilgour, with Saunders and Burton lurking.

On 65 minutes, Akins and Keillor-Dunn combined to set up Bowery, with Murphy superbly saving his goal-bound shot.

Rovers were enjoying a positive spell of play, as Burton and Regan Hendry saw strikes charged down by Stags defenders.  

Davies headed Hendry’s corner from the right into the path of Jameson, however the defender’s overhead kick narrowly missed.

With ten minutes left, Chalmers’ through ball set Saunders free. The attacker pulled it back for Hawkes, but Harbottle threw himself in the way of his powerful strike.

Hendry and Chalmers both had late chances which failed to test Pym, as Rovers suffered a home defeat.

TRFC are back in action next weekend when they travel to Stevenage, kick-off 3pm.

Tranmere: Murphy, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Jameson, Bristow, Hawkes, Hendry, O'Connor, Turner-Cooke (Chalmers 58), Saunders, Mumbongo (Burton 58)

Subs not used: Hewelt, Fisher, Merrie, Nolan, Lewis

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