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Match Reports

Report: Tranmere 3-1 Morecambe

26 December 2018

First half goals from Cole Stockton, James Norwood and Jay Harris handed TRFC a deserved three points in a 3-1 victory against Morecambe at Prenton Park.

In front of nearly 7,500 fans inside Prenton Park, Rovers were in control from start to finish, with Morecambe scoring a consolation goal midway through the second half courtesy of full back Jordan Cranston.

Manager Micky Mellon was without captain Steve McNulty through injury, so Ritchie Sutton stepped in at the heart of the Rovers defence. A change in attack saw Stockton replace Paul Mullin, the latter named on the bench.

A blistering start from the hosts led to Mellon’s men taking the lead within four minutes. Winger Connor Jennings weaved his way past the Morecambe back line to find space to shoot, his shot cannoned off a visiting foot into the path of Stockton to rifle the ball beyond Mark Halstead.

Tranmere were in control of the game at Prenton Park in front of a bumper crowd, but Morecambe nearly dealt TRFC with a sucker punch as Sam Lavelle’s header was tipped over the cross from ex Shrimps goalkeeper Scott Davies, a wonderful save.

A couple of minutes later, Stockton could have had a second after collecting a through ball from Norwood, but the angle was too tight, and the striker was denied by the knees of Halstead.

However, Stockton soon turned provider for his strike partner Norwood to bury him Tranmere’s second in the 28th minute. Defender Jake Caprice whipped in a delightful cross into the middle for Stockton to tee up Norwood to calmly slot into the bottom right hand corner.

Tranmere were enjoying themselves as they went in search of a third before half time as Harris hit a stunning volley from 25-yards which dropped on the roof of the net.

Chances were coming thick and fast for the hosts, Manny Monthe the next to have sight on goal, hitting wide from a corner.

But Rovers were knocking for a third and they soon got it on the stroke of half time, Harris left unmarked in the penalty box to power a header beyond Halstead after an excellent delivery from Liam Ridehalgh on the left-hand side.

Rovers headed down the tunnel at half time to a standing ovation and it was fully deserved after three fantastic goals.

Mellon’s men started the second half how they finished the first, on the front foot, as Norwood and Stockton both fired over within the first eight minutes.

Just before the hour mark, Monthe, who used to play as a striker during his early footballing days, went on a dazzling run, only to be illegally hacked down on the edge of the box. Up stepped Norwood, driving a ferocious strike, which Halstead could only push away.

Morecambe pulled a goal back in the 65th minute as left back Cranston hit an unstoppable strike into the top left-hand corner from 30-yards, giving Davies no chance.

TRFC nearly responded instantly to the minor set back, as Stockton held the ball up to turn away from his man exquisitely, only to drag his effort inches wide of the far post.

The first changes for Rovers came in the 82nd minute as Harvey Gilmour and Mullin replaced Sutton and Stockton.

Substitute Mullin had the last chance of the game for TRFC, striking inches wide of the goal from inside the penalty area but Rovers secured a deserved three points and will now move onto Saturday’s home encounter against Yeovil Town. 

Tranmere: Davies, Ridehalgh, Sutton (Gilmour 82), Monthe, Harris, Norwood, Jennings, McCullough, Caprice, Ellis, Stockton (Mullin 82). Unused subs: George, Buxton, Smith, Bakayogo, Cole.

 Attendance: 7,483 (215 away)


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