Morgan Ferrier’s 11-minute second-half hat-trick and Corey Blackett-Taylor’s double saw Tranmere Rovers reach the Emirates FA Cup third-round after a 5-1 victory over Chichester City at Prenton Park on Sunday.
Blackett-Taylor scored twice either side of Ferrier’s hat-trick to cap off a five-star second-half performance on a crisp winter afternoon on the Wirral.
Ryan Peake scored a consolation for Chichester in stoppage time when he flicked in from a corner.
Manager Micky Mellon made three changes to his side from last weekend’s game at Fleetwood Town, with Liam Ridehalgh, David Perkins and Blackett-Taylor all coming into the starting line-up.
Tranmere looked to threaten early on against their opponents from the Isthmian League South East Division, with Kieron Morris’ dangerous free-kick from the left just evaded Manny Monthe at the back post.
Miles Rutherford’s Sussex outfit went close inside ten minutes when Josh Clack’s cross from the right was met by Scott Jones, who guided a header just past Scott Davies’ post.
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy dragged a low shot into the side-netting from outside the penalty area, while Morris’ bent effort was deflected around the post, as Rovers pushed for an opener.
On the half-hour, Blackett-Taylor spurned a chance after Morgan Ferrier fed a neat through ball to him, but with just goalkeeper Steven Mowthorpe to beat, the forward couldn’t keep his shot down.
With four minutes remaining in the first-half, Morris received the ball 25-yards from goal, though his left-footed strike was comfortable for Mowthorpe.
Mowthorpe was called into action again, superbly tipping over Hepburn-Murphy’s close-range header from Ridehalgh’s cross.
Connor Jennings replaced Hepburn-Murphy up-front as a half-time change, with Rovers looking to improve on their showing in the opening half of action.
The hosts began positively, and Ferrier teed up Blackett-Taylor, only for Corey Heath to block the shot.
Blackett-Taylor’s header was kept out, while up the other end, Davies was forced to parry Gicu Iordache’s dipping drive from range.
Blackett-Taylor opened the scoring for Tranmere on 62 minutes, tapping in from six-yards into an empty net after Ferrier’s header hit the crossbar from Jake Caprice’s cross.
And Tranmere extended their lead two minutes later when he raced clear on goal, and with only Mowthorpe to beat, he stroked right-footed, low into the bottom right-corner.
Ferrier scored his second and Rovers’ third of the tie after 71 minutes, latching onto Monthe’s pass to chip over the visitors’ stopper from 25-yards.
The forward grabbed his hat-trick with 75 minutes played, profiting from neat build-up play to divert Caprice’s fizzing cross over the line.
Blackett-Taylor thumped a volley which found the bottom left-corner to make it five after 85 minutes.
Substitute Peake scored a late header from Max Axell’s corner from the right, which beat Davies to find the bottom left-corner.
Rovers will find out who they will face in the third-round in Monday’s draw that takes place on BBC Two.
Next up for Mellon’s men is a Leasing.com Trophy second-round tie against Manchester United U21s at Prenton Park on Wednesday night, 7:45pm kick-off.
TRFC: Davies ©, Caprice, Nelson, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Perkins, Potter (Danns 61), Morris, Hepburn-Murphy, (Jennings 45) Blackett-Taylor, Ferrier (Mullin 74)
Subs: Pilling, Woods, Maddox, Payne,