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08 September 2018 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: Colchester United

6 September 2018

Setting the scene…

Tranmere Rovers v Colchester United                                                                        Saturday 8th September 2018                                                                                      Prenton Park                                                                                                                  3pm kick-off

Tranmere Rovers will aim to extend their unbeaten home league run since returning to the EFL this weekend when Colchester United visit Prenton Park.

Rovers earned a hard-fought point away at Northampton Town last weekend with James Norwood netting for Micky Mellon’s men in a 1-1 Sixfields draw.

Rovers were on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night, losing 4-3 to Crewe Alexandra at home.

Tranmere currently sit 11th in the fourth tier after collecting nine points from their opening six games, and welcome a Colchester side who are fourth, a point outside the automatic promotion places.

Team news

Adam Buxton returned from injury against David Artell’s Railwaymen and is back in the first team squad for this weekend.

Zoumana Bakayogo also made his first start after a spell on the sidelines in the Checkatrade Trophy against Crewe, and he will be pushing for a place in the starting line up on Saturday.

Long term absentees Liam Ridehalgh and Ritchie Sutton will miss the game through injury.

The U's season so far

Positioned just below the automatic promotion positions, Colchester have started the season in fine form.

Managed by former Tranmere stalwart John McGreal, the Birkenhead-born former defender made 195 appearances over a nine-year period at his local side.

McGreal, aged 46, brings his side to the Wirral looking to continue their positive start to the campaign.

Last time out in League Two, Colchester were 3-1 winners away at Cheltenham Town, with Luke Norris’ first-half brace added to by Harry Pell’s 88th minute penalty to complete a big win in Gloucestershire.

From their opening six outings, Colchester have attained 11 points and occupy fourth position following their bright start.

An opening day goalless stalemate with Notts County was followed up by a 2-0 win over Port Vale and putting six past Crewe, either side of a point at Mansfield Town.

Their only defeat to date this season came at home, losing 2-1 to Northampton Town.

One to watch

Striker Luke Norris has been in emphatic form since his summer move from Swindon Town.

Norris has found the back of the net on four occasions so far this term, as the U’s look to build upon a positive opening to the 2018/19 campaign.

The 25-year-old Stevenage-born player began his career in the youth set-ups of Hitchin Town and Brentford, before turning professional with the Bees.

Loan spells with Boreham Wood, Northampton Town and Dagenham and Redbridge followed before he left Griffin Park for Gillingham permanently in July 2014.

Norris spent two seasons in Kent, turning out 70 times for the Gills, scoring 14 goals prior to a 2016 transfer to Swindon Town.

Two years at the County Ground saw the marksman strike 17 goals in 74 appearances in Wiltshire He linked up at the Colchester Community Stadium earlier in the summer.

Tickets

Tickets for Saturday’s fixture with high-flying Colchester are available through the Club’s official ticket website.

For full information on how to buy, please click here. By clicking through, you can also see ticket information for our upcoming games in League Two.

The referee in charge

Shrewsbury based referee Robert Lewis will take charge of this weekend’s match at Prenton Park.

So far this season, Lewis has taken charge of five matches, distributing 16 yellows and one red card, to MK Dons’ Mathieu Baudry in their 0-0 draw in League Two at Crewe.

The last time Lewis took charge of a Tranmere match was February 2015, when Rovers drew 1-1 away at Newport County, with Rory Donnelly on the score sheet.

Match coverage

If you can’t make it to Prenton Park for the visit of Colchester United, then don’t worry as we have you covered!

Full match commentary of the fixture will be exclusively available live from Rovers’ home ground!

You can now sign up to Tranmere Rovers’ iFollow, which allows access to extended highlights and interviews with manager Micky Mellon and a player, after the game.

To sign up, click here

Alternatively, 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

 

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Match Reports

Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Colchester United

8 September 2018

James Norwood continued his goal scoring form with his seventh of the season in the 1-1 draw against Colchester United at Prenton Park. 

Colchester captain Harry Pell cancelled Norwood's first half opener meaning the teams share the points in an even game.

Before the game, Rovers had not conceded on home soil but knew this game would test their resolve given that their opponents were the league’s second most prolific team, sitting fourth before kick-off.

Rovers had the momentum for the majority of the first half amid the odd attack from the visitors. In the first ten minutes they could have scored three. James Norwood was within a whisker of latching onto a Connor Jennings cross, before Jonny Smith forced U’s keeper Dillon Barnes into diving low to his right to palm behind his low curling effort. Norwood did have the ball in the net, finishing a great lofted pass from Zoumana Bakayogo, but the former had drifted offside.

The only clear cut opportunity for the U’s came after Rovers skipper Steve McNulty sold short keeper Scott Davies with an attempted pass. United striker Luke Norris seized on the loose ball, but his effort was superbly saved by Davis, having rushed out to reduce the angle of which Norris could aim at.

Rovers finally found the break through with three minutes of the first half remaining. Colchester seemed content to deal with the patient build up from the home side but when Ollie Banks sped up the passes with a lovely first time ball past his marker, Cole Stockton found himself in acres of space to attack and he did so before finding Smith on the right, who cut inside onto his left foot but instead of shooting, brilliantly reversed the ball down the right of the area to the unmarked James Norwood, and the League Two player of the month did the rest, firing low across goal and into the far corner of the net.

Colchester began the second half with much more determination than the previous 45, having a penalty appeal waved away in the first 30 seconds before almost levelling the game when Brennan Dickenson's free kick caused havoc in the Rovers area, until Jennings did fantastically well to clear the ball, heading it away from goal.

They did have an equaliser however, bang on the hour when Scott Davies failed to get sufficient distance on his punch following a corner, and U’s captain Harry Pell was on hand to side foot it first time into the net. Colchester began to dominate possession and continued to attack, with Szmodics drawing a save from Davies with a low driven effort.

Despite having gained a foothold in the game, Colchester were still susceptible on the break and Rovers almost used this to their advantage when Norwood found space on the right to cross into Jennings who would have scored but for an outstanding point blank save from Dillon Barnes.

Rovers upped the ante in the final few minutes as Colchester sat back and opted to waste as much time as they could, for which they got their reward, gaining a valuable point and keeping themselves two points better off than the home side.

Next up for Rovers a trip up to Carlisle, on Saturday 15th September.

Rovers: Davies, Caprice, McNulty (Capt.), Monthe, Bakayogo, Smith (76 Mottley- Henry), McCullough, Banks, Jennings, Stockton (76 Mullin), Norwood NOT USED: George, Ellis, Gilmour, Harris, Cole

Attendance 5885

Report by Jake Mathot

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