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Match Reports

Report: Port Vale 1-2 Tranmere

19 February 2019

A brace from Sky Bet League Two top goalscorer James Norwood, his 21st and 22nd league goals of the campaign, sealed a deserved 2-1 win for Tranmere at Port Vale.

The striker scored in the first and second half to seal the win in front of more than 800 Tranmere supporters. Vale’s Ben Whitfield scored for the hosts shortly after Norwood’s second, but the visitors held on for a deserved three points to move up to ninth in the division.

Tranmere named an unchanged line up and bench from the 0-0 draw at Cambridge United last weekend.

Port Vale were seeing more of possession in the opening stages, but with their first attack, Rovers took the lead through Sky Bet League Two top goal scorer, Norwood.

The goal came about when winger Kieron Morris cut in from the left to drive a shot at the goalkeeper, Scott Brown. The ball deflected just behind the striker, but he did well to turn away to retrieve the ball and fire home.

Port Vale had chance to react immediately through Ben Whitfield, through on goal, the number 24’s shot was tame and easy for Scott Davies in the TRFC goal.

Tranmere’s Connor Jennings had the next opportunity, a half chance on the edge of the penalty box, but lashed his half volley over the bar.

Both Norwood and manager Micky Mellon were handed yellow cards but referee Trevor Kettle after the striker thought he was fouled in the penalty box, but their retaliation to a penalty not being awarded earnt the pair bookings.

Norwood nearly wriggled home his second of the night in the 40th minute, but from a tight angle, the keeper saved well with his feet. At the other end, veteran centre forward Tom Pope leaped above the TRFC defence to send a header into the away crowd behind Davies’ goal.

The second half began with the rain starting to come down in Burslem but the travelling support stayed with their team, and soon enough, Norwood had his 22nd league goal of the season.

The striker broke through to collect Jennings pass and with a perfect left footed strike, found the bottom hand corner to put TRFC two goals to the good.

But before the hour mark, Vale pulled a goal back as Whitfield drove through the heart of the TRFC defence to fire past the outstretched arm of Davies.

Jennings hit another strike just wide of the mark for TRFC before Zoumana Bakayogo heroically kept the visitors level with an excellent goal line saving header, before the follow up chance was saved by Davies.

Norwood came within a whisker of scoring his first hat trick for Tranmere only a couple of minutes later, firing a shot from the right-hand side slightly wide of the left hand post.

Tranmere made two changes as they looked to keep ahead in the game, Jonny Smith and Harvey Gilmour replacing Morris and Ben Pringle.

Port Vale were pushing for an equaliser but the TRFC defence stood strong with a late strike from substitute Ricky Miller the final throw of the dice for the hosts as Rovers collected a deserved three points.

Tranmere: Davies, Caprice, Ellis, Monthe, Bakayogo, Morris (Smith 76), Perkins, McCullough, Pringle (Gilmour 62), Jennings, Norwood. Unused subs: Pilling, Buxton, Mullin, Dagnall, Banks.

Attendance: 3,835 812 away.


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