Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon was pleased with the attitude of his young squad as they beat Manchester United U21s 3-2 at Prenton Park to reach the Leasing.com Trophy third-round on Wednesday night.
The two teams shared four goals in the first-half, with Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and captain Connor Jennings scoring either side of Tahith Chong’s double.
Substitute Corey Blackett-Taylor struck the winner nine minutes after the break, driving low into the bottom right-corner following Kane Wilson’s neat pull-back.
During 15 minutes of added time, caused by injuries to Hepburn-Murphy and United’s Reece Devine, the Red Devils saw Ayodeji Sotona sent off by referee Ross Joyce for pushing Sid Nelson.
And following the cup tie, Mellon was proud of his young set of players for stepping up in a competitive fixture.
Mellon said: “I want people to make sure they know how young they were. We gave a few debuts and what I was most pleased about was the attitude of the group.
“We spoke about it before the game that we had a couple of the lads making debuts and a couple of the young ones, like Maddox and Rush, young Kane at right-back who is only 19, so what I think it was good for, was a competitive game like that.
“That was every bit what development is all about, the Manchester United boys were involved in a proper game that they will develop in. My lads and my kids were all involved in the same, it was keenly fought-out.
“I’ve bloodied a couple of lads in a really competitive game at Prenton Park under the lights and I think in terms of development, the stood out for me.
“The attitude of our players was first class, because I want to go on record about how young our team was, so it was great for the whole squad that the players can do it.
“It really helps Tranmere move forward by knowing that we have young kids and young pros who are moving forward with their careers, and that was the pleasing thing.”
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