Setting the scene…
The Emirates FA Cup returns to Prenton Park this Saturday when Tranmere Rovers host Oxford City in the first round proper of the competition.
Following a positive start to their first season back in League Two, with Micky Mellon’s side fourth in the division, attentions now turn to a fixture against Non-League opposition.
Vanarama National League South side Oxford visit the home of the Rovers for the first time.
City have overcome three teams already to reach the first round proper, having kicked-off their FA Cup campaign back in September at the second qualifying round stage.
Defeating Hemel Hempstead 5-0 in a replay back in October, the sixth-tier outfit will be aiming to reach the second round.
Cole Stockton is back running but will not be in contention for this weekend’s game. Midfielder Luke McCullough is the only loan player unavailable for selection. Manager Mellon revealed he would be looking to pick a strong team for the cup tie at Prenton Park.
City’s season so far
Managed by Mark Jones, Oxford City are currently sitting in 17th within the National League South table, having attained 18 points from their opening 15 games of the new season, a run of form which places them seven points outside the relegation places.
From their last five league outings, City have won twice, including a 4-2 win at Hampton and Richmond Borough last time out, with the goals coming from Zac McEachran, Kabongo Tshimanga, Joe Oastler and Kyran Wiltshire.
A win at Tranmere will see City progress into the second round for the second consecutive season having beaten Cray Valley PM, Dartford and Hemel Hempstead so far to set up their tie away at Prenton Park.
One to watch
A striker with EFL experience, Oxford will be hoping that Kabongo Tshimanga can be a thorn in Tranmere’s side on Saturday.
The Congolese-born 22-year-old player came through the youth ranks at MK Dons, turning professional at the Buckinghamshire side before embarking on several loans which included spells at Aldershot Town, Chelmsford City, Corby Town, Nuneaton Town, Chesham United, Icelandic team Throttur Reykjavik and Yeovil Town.
Tshimanga signed for Boston United permanently in July 2017, scoring 15 goals before moving to Oxford City earlier in the summer.
Seniors and Young Persons: £5
Under 18s: £1
You can purchase tickets online by visiting: https://www.trfctickets.co.uk/
Full match commentary of the tie against Oxford City at Prenton Park 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.