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Match Reports

Bristol Rovers 2-0 Tranmere

20 August 2019

Nine-men Tranmere Rovers slipped to a 2-0 defeat away at Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night.

Jonson Clarke-Harris’ header in the closing seven minutes of the first-half saw Tranmere trail at the break.

Micky Mellon’s men were then reduced to 10 men by referee Gavin Ward two minutes into the second-half when Corey Blackett-Taylor pushed Ollie Clarke to the ground.

Ollie Banks also received his marching orders by Ward with 57 minutes played for a second yellow card following a late challenge.

Tyler Smith put the result beyond doubt with a late penalty to seal three-points for the hosts.

Manager Mellon named an unchanged side which beat Bolton Wanderers last Saturday for the away fixture in the South West.

The first real opportunity on goal came 13 minutes into the game for the hosts, when Clarke-Harris bent his left-footed free-kick from the left drifted over Scott Davies’ crossbar.

Luke Leahy then had another opening for Graham Coughlan’s Pirates a minute later though the midfielder couldn’t keep his effort down when well-positioned inside the penalty area.

On the half-hour, Josh Hare’s cross from the right was met by Smith inside the six-yard box, who headed across goal and past Davies’ bottom left-post.

Up the other end, midfielder Banks sent a right-footed volley from 30-yards which took a deflection before being safely caught by goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola.

Tranmere were behind on 38 minutes when an unmarked Clarke-Harris glanced a downwards header beyond Davies’ dive from Hare’s right-sided cross which found the bottom right-corner.

Davies then had hold on well to keep out Abu Ogogo after he fired a low volley along the turf through a crowd of players after a corner, which was straight at TRFC’s skipper.

The visitors’ task was made tougher when Blackett-Taylor was dismissed for a push on Clarke.

And Tranmere were almost made to pay from the resulting set-piece when Clarke-Harris headed the cross down towards Smith, with Davies smothering the ball well.

Banks was then sent-off nine minutes after Blackett-Taylor after picking up a second bookable offence.

Davies was again called into action to keep Tranmere in the contest, saving well down to his left to thwart Clarke’s drive after the midfielder had cut inside past Liam Ridehalgh.

Centre-back Manny Monthe then had a glorious chance to equalise for Tranmere but spurned his free-header from eight-yards, lifting over the crossbar after Kane Wilson’s pinpoint free-kick from the right.

Roared on by 493 of the SWA who had made the long journey down to the West Country, Rovers pushed for a leveller.

Ridehalgh’s cross from the left found substitute Hepburn-Murphy who drove over the crossbar from the edge of the box when well positioned.

TRFC were confined to defeat on 87 minutes after George Ray brought down Smith in the box, with Smith stepping up to send Davies the wrong way from 12-yards, finding the bottom left-corner.

TRFC: Davies, Ridehalgh, Ray, Monthe, Wilson (Hepburn-Murphy 74) Morris, Perkins, Banks, Blackett-Taylor, Jennings, Ferrier

Subs not used: Pilling, Nelson, Potter, Gilmour, Mullin, Payne


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