The PS4 team was once again at the forefront of the TRFC esports action this week with their regular three games of VPG action.
Monday night saw them take on Neon esports and ICG Horus with Samurai XI being the opponents on Thursday night. They were looking to extend their lead at the top of the Championship South table which stood at five points at the start of the week.
VPG Championship South - TRFC esports 3-0 Neon esports
Tranmere started the brighter of the two sides in their first game of the night and could have taken the lead with four minutes gone, however, a good save from Neon goalkeeper Chalke denied Tranmere striker Nathan Ley with the rebound being cleared to safety.
With 18 minutes gone in the game, Rovers were gifted a chance to take the lead. Good work from Marcus Meredith on the edge of the box allowed him to find Shane Dempsey inside the box, who was then taken out by Neon esports defender Kadir, the referee rightly pointing to the spot. Rovers manager Marcus Meredith stepped up and fired the penalty into the net, despite the Neon goalkeeper guessing the right way.
Meredith should have doubled the Rovers lead towards the end of the first half but could only find the side netting from 12 yards out and striker Nathan Ley also stung the palms of Neon keeper Chalke before the half-time whistle as Tranmere began to dominate.
Neon goalkeeper Chalke was the standout player for the opposition and he was on hand again to brilliantly deny Rovers striker Nathan Ley just after the hour mark with an amazing one-handed diving save.
Frustration built for the Rovers frontline but with 13 minutes to go, they finally found a way past Chalke for a second time. Nathan Ley played a lovely through ball for Curtis Aaron, who managed to fire into the bottom right hand corner with a first-time shot.
From that point, there was no way back for Neon esports and there was even time for a Tranmere third in stoppage time. Curtis Aaron turned provider this time, finding Nathan Ley in the Neon Box. Ley saw his first shot saved by Chalke but he managed to put in the rebound to cap a dominant Rovers display.
VPG Championship South - TRFC esports 2-0 ICG Horus
Rovers went into the second game of the night knowing they were in for a tougher test with ICG Horus occupying 5th place in the VPG Championship South. However, they should have taken the lead with five minutes played but Curtis Aaron somehow fired over the bar when through on goal.
Not long after, Rovers were once again gifted a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot following a foul on Irish midfielder Shane Dempsey, much like they had in the previous game against Neon esports. Marcus Meredith once again stepped up but this time his shot was pushed away by Nelson in the Horus goal.
Horus took confidence from the penalty save, and would have perhaps taken the lead had LaresLX not blocked a shot from one of his own players inside the Rovers box with 36 minutes gone.
The second half saw Rovers begin to dominate the game a little bit more and look to put pressure on ICG Horus. Rovers winger Curtis Aaron probably should have done better in the 56th minute, his volley from 12-yards flying wide of the target.
With 20 minutes to go, Rovers finally made the breakthrough with a team goal of the highest quality. 17 passes, which started with Rovers just outside their own box, ended with Shane Dempsey playing in Curtis Aaron, the winger making up for his earlier miss by placing the ball to the goalkeeper’s right to make it 1-0 to Tranmere.
The same combination linked up again with six minutes to go to double the Tranmere lead and secure all three points, Aaron once again running onto Shane Dempsey’s through ball before slotting past the Horus goalkeeper.
VPG Championship South - TRFC esports 1-3 Samurai XI
Thursday night’s game saw the PS4 side take on Samurai XI. Samurai started the better and gave Tranmere an early warning, goalkeeper AutoKorrect palming away a shot from Samurai striker Tom Rothwell. Samurai continued to press forward, aided by some sloppy passing play from Rovers, and went close to opening the scoring when Treeba fired wide from distance.
The PS4 side didn’t look their usual best and Samurai took the lead just after the half-hour mark. A shot by Nash was fantastically saved by AutoKorrect, however, the ball landed at the feet of Samurai’s Rothwell and he had the simplest of tasks to smash the ball into an empty net.
It got worse for Rovers on the stroke of half-time. Dogg won an aerial battle in the midfield for Samurai and found Rothwell just outside the Rovers box. The striker took a touch before firing into the top right-hand corner of the Tranmere net to give Samurai a 2-0 half-time lead.
It didn’t get much better for Tranmere in the second-half, with Samurai adding a third ten minutes after the break. Tom Rothwell made another great run to find space in the Tranmere defence, before unleashing a superb left foot shot from distance that whistled past AutoKorrect and into the Tranmere net.
The PS4 side did manage to restore a little bit of pride in stoppage time with a consolation goal. Curtis Aaron played a ball over the top for Nathan Ley, the striker volleying a first time shot in off the post.
By John Warrington