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02 March 2024 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Sutton United

2 March 2024

Tranmere Rovers got back to winning ways in a scrappy affair at Prenton Park, beating Sutton United 1-0.

Rob Apter’s late strike was the difference in the scores, a curled effort which beat Steve Arnold in the U's goal to put the hosts ahead on 87 minutes. 

Connor Jennings had a penalty saved by the Sutton ‘keeper at the start of the second half, and Rovers were denied a spot-kick before the break after what appeared to be handball on the line. 

Tranmere stay 18th in League Two, while the away side remain rooted to the bottom, six points adrift of safety. 

The visitors recorded the first effort of the game, Craig Eastmond flashing a shot wide of the post from outside the box. The Sutton captain had the ball in the net a few minutes later, but it was disallowed for a handball in the build-up. 

Regan Hendry’s shot from range deflected away as Rovers looked to grow into the game themselves. Nino Adom-Malaki then found himself in the book for reacting fiercely to a strong challenge from Tom Davies, before Brad Walker was cautioned for dissent, in a separate incident. 

Kieron Morris tested Arnold for the first time, the ‘keeper pushing behind his effort from a tight angle, after some neat play from Tranmere. 

Harry Smith looked certain to open the scoring for Sutton after 20 minutes, getting his foot to a ball across goal, but missed the target from a few-yards out. 

Apter cut inside and tried a low effort, but it trickled through into the arms of Arnold. 

As the half entered its last ten minutes, Charlie Lakin brought down a long ball in the box, and unleashed a shot which Luke McGee used his legs to guide behind.  

Rovers were incensed to not receive a penalty, when Harvey Saunders’ shot in the box appeared to strike the arms of a Sutton defender on the line. Referee Ruebyn Ricardo was unmoved, and Saunders was booked for dissent. 

The visitors were awarded a free kick in a promising position on the edge of the box, but Lakin’s effort was comfortable for McGee. At the other end, Apter earned a corner when his shot deflected into the side netting, but Tranmere couldn’t make it count. 

McGee made a huge save to deny Oli Sanderson at the start of the second half, after the forward was played in on goal with a neat flick. 

Eastmond made his way to the byline and fired in a low ball which was saved, and Rovers countered. Apter stung the palms of Arnold twice before Hendry’s effort from range was parried behind. 

Tranmere won a penalty ten minutes into the half, after Saunders was brought down when attacking the ball from a corner. Jennings has found the net eleven times this season but couldn’t add another as his spot-kick was kept out by Arnold. 

A quiet spell in terms of chances followed. With twenty to play, Connor Wood tried a shot from the edge which looped over the bar. Substitute Josh Coley’s header was on target at the other end, but McGee made an important stop to deny him. 

Davies and Hendry combined with blocks to keep Sutton at bay, as the visitors pressed hard for a winner. Lakin attempted a volley from range which was well wide, before Sanderson drilled a low effort into the side netting. 

Rovers were penned in but a vital interception from Jennings allowed the hosts to break. Hendry played in Saunders whose effort was parried behind. Davies got on the end of the corner but headed wide. 

Then came the breakthrough on 87 minutes, as Apter broke into space and curled a shot past Arnold in the Sutton goal. Tranmere had to be patient, and weather the storm at times, but they were ahead at the end. 

The U’s pushed hard in the final moments, but Rovers stood firm to secure the points in a battling display at Prenton Park. 


TRANMERE ROVERS: McGee, O’Connor, Davies (c), Turnbull, Wood, Apter, Walker (Merrie 60’), Hendry, Morris (L. Norris 60’), Jennings, Saunders (Hawkes 84’) 

SUBS NOT USED: Murphy, Yarney, Lewis, Pike 

SUTTON UNITED: Arnold, Kizzi, Goodliffe (Taylor 38’), Hart (N’Guessan 90’), Jackson, Adom-Malaki (Moore 59’), Eastmond (c), Lakin, Clay (Coley 59’), Sanderson (Duke-McKenna 59’), Smith 

SUBS NOT USED: Bouzanis, Williams 

ATTENDANCE: 5,423 (146 away) 


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