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Match Reports

Report: Oxford City 0-2 Tranmere Rovers

20 November 2018

First half goals from James Norwood and Paul Mullin secured Tranmere Rovers' place in the second round of the FA Cup after a 2-0 win at Oxford City in a first round replay.

TRFC will now go on to face Southport at Prenton Park in the second round of the competition after a professional performance against the National League South side. 

Tranmere Rovers boss Micky Mellon drafted in Jay Harris, Larnell Cole, Mullin and Ritchie Sutton for the game against City.

On a freezing cold night in Oxfordshire, Tranmere quickly settled into the first round replay, played on an artificial surface, as Norwood grabbed his second goal in the FA Cup this season to hand the visitors a sixth minute lead.

A quick move from defence to attack, started by Cole, resulted in the midfielder picking out Mullin who was free on the left hand side, just inside the TRFC half. Our number nine played an inch perfect pass for Norwood, who raced through on goal to calmly slot beyond goalkeeper Craig King.

And Norwood could have grabbed his second just after the quarter hour mark, forcing King into a low save inside the penalty area as Rovers pushed for a second in front of a strong away crowd at Marsh Lane.

However, it didn’t take long for Rovers to have their second as Mullin turned from provider to goal scorer in the 31st minute. The frontman nipped the ball away from an Oxford City defender before curling a deadly finish into the far corner to put Rovers in command against the National League South side.

Rovers comfortably held onto their lead heading into the half time break. The visitors continued to control proceedings at the beginning of the second period, an important intervention from a corner denied Norwood a second goal of the night.

The rain was getting heavier by the minute, as TRFC remained strong in defence, squashing any Oxford City attack that came their way.

On the hour mark, City left back Ben Jefford tried his luck from the edge of the box, but he was shooting from a tight angle, causing no concern for Rovers skipper for the night, Scott Davies.

Two minutes later, Connor Jennings picked out Norwood, who was played on side by the Oxford defence but goalkeeper King made an impressive save to deny the current League Two top goal scorer.

The first change came in the 63rd minute for Tranmere, Cole replaced by on loan Barnsley winger Dylan Mottley-Henry.

Central midfielders Harvey Gilmour and Harris, both had chances in the 75th and 76th minute respectively, the latter coming closest, his effort from 20 plus yards tipped over the frame of the goal.

In the 83rd minute, Cole Stockton made his return from injury, in place of Mullin, who finished the game with a goal and an assist to his name. A couple of minutes later, Liam Ridehalgh was also introduced for his first appearance of the season after injury, coming on for Zoumana Bakayogo.

Tranmere professionaly saw out the rest of the game to secure their place in the second round of the competition, next up neighbours Southport at home with full match details to be announced for the game in due course. 

TRFC: Davies, Caprice, Sutton, Monthe, Bakayogo, Mullin (Stockton 83), Cole (Mottley-Henry 63), Harris, Gilmour, Jennings, Norwood. Unused subs: George, Ellis, Ridehalgh, Smith, Akammadu.


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