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Match Reports

Report: Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Exeter City

3 November 2018

A James Norwood brace secured back-to-back home victories for TRFC as they overcame Exeter City by two goals to nil.

The division's top goal scorer grabbed his 11th and 12th goals of the campaign as Rovers continued their climb up the Sky Bet League Two table.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the visitors. A short freekick was played down the left to Exeter’s Dean Moxey, who crossed low into the danger zone, however Scott Davies did just about enough to dive down and punch the ball away from any Exeter attacker.

Davies was soon called into action once more when winger Matt Jay ran at the Rovers defence from the left hand side before pulling it back to Jayden Stockley. City's top scorer unselfishly laid it off first time for Lee Martin, who only had the keeper to beat, but Davies came rushing out to meet him, making himself big and he smothered the shot that came his way.

Rovers first chance then forced the oppositions keeper to be alert as Connor Jennings got a foot to Jake Caprice's cross from the right, only for James Hamon to cover his near post well and somehow clear the ball from his goal line.

 After a subdued quarter of an hour following a nasty injury to Exeter’s forward Jay, Rovers took the lead through Norwood. Paul Mullin floated a fantastic ball from the right towards the penalty spot and Norwood connected with it on the run to head into the far corner of the net past Hamon, who dived to his right and got a hand to it but could only help it in.

Mullin and Norwood almost recreated the goal on the stroke of half time as Mullin crossed from the right again towards our number 10 but the delivery was just too high and Norwood headed over.

 Exeter began the second half on the front foot but Rovers almost caught them on the break when Ollie Banks played Caprice in down the right. The full back passed across the box to Jennings who controlled the ball with one touch and fired an effort towards goal on the bounce but it was well saved by Hamon to his left. 

On 55 minutes however, it was 2-0. Larnell Cole collected the ball about 25 yards out and decided to have a hit with the ball bouncing. His effort thundered against the inside of the left post with the keeper beaten, only for it to fall to Norwood eight yards out to tap into the empty net.

Exeter’s first real opening in the second half came after 65 minutes when they broke down the left. Fortunately Stockley didn't see the free man in the area, instead opting to shoot from a tight angle, although he still drew a smart save from Davies as he dived down to his right to turn the ball away from goal.

City's left back Dean Moxey was sent off after 73 minutes for a second yellow card after he handled the ball as Caprice beat him for pace down the right flank. 

 Substitute Jonny Smith tried his luck from 20 yards with a left footed effort which Hamon did well to hold onto. Buxton then also tried his luck from distance after weaving past two players to make the space for himself, but his shot was parried by Hamon and cleared. 

 Davies made a quality save at the end of the game to ensure of a well-deserved clean sheet. The ball ricocheted into the path of Martin ten yards out but the Rovers keeper instinctively stuck a hand out to stop the ball beating him as he almost fell past it. 

 Rovers return to Prenton Park next Saturday where they will host Oxford City in the FA Cup first round.

TRFC: Davies, Caprice, McNulty, Monthe, Buxton, McCullough, Banks (82 Harris), Mullin (66 Smith), Cole (73 Gilmour), Jennings, Norwood. Subs Not used: George, Bakayogo, Mottley-Henry


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