Tranmere Rovers started 2019 with a well deserved point at Macclesfield Town after a 1-1 draw at Moss Rose. Connor Jennings scored the opener against his former employers but it was cancelled out just before the half time whistle courtesy of Koby Arthur.
Manager Micky Mellon brought in Manny Monthe, Adam Buxton and Jonny Smith for the game against the relegation threatened Silkmen. Steve McNulty was on the bench alongside Cole Stockton, Ritchie Sutton not included in the matchday squad.
An early change for the division’s joint top goal scorer James Norwood, bearing down on goal, the striker turned his marker inside out, put his close-range effort was pushed away by Kieran O’Hara.
Macclesfield were not causing Rovers any real threat in the early proceedings in the final third, as Tranmere dominated the ball. Defender Mark Ellis, who has come close on a couple of occasions in the past few matches, put too much power on a header form a right wing cross to send high and wide.
Winger Smith got a shot on target in the next goal scoring opportunity, but his angle was too tight and the keeper made a low save.
It was all Tranmere, as Norwood won a free-kick from 25-yards, for Buxton to take range and shoot, only for a last ditch save from the Macclesfield shot stopper.
Two free-kicks in a minute for our number 2, this time after Jay Harris was fouled. A bit closer, from roughly 23 yards, Buxton curled over the cross bar into the TRFC supporters.
Tranmere’s pressure finally paid off as a composed team move was rounded off by an excellent finish from former Macclesfield man Jennings. The midfielder escaped a last ditch Silkmen tackle to bend a 20-yard strike past the goalkeeper in front of the travelling support.
Against the run of play, the hosts scored an equaliser with their first chance of the game. Midfielder Arthur unmarked in the penalty box to stab the ball home as the half time score was 1-1.
Into the second half, and the first opportunity of the 45 came to Norwood as he picked up a lofted pass from midfield, but his effort was over the goalkeeper’s crossbar.
Jay Harris had Tranmere’s second opportunity of the half, hammering a fantastic right footed shot from the edge of the box, looking destined to nestle in the top corner, it took a last second deflection off a home shirt to go wide.
The first Rovers change came in the 66th minute, Larnell Cole replacing winger Smith. Number nine Scott Wilson got goal side of the TRFC defence and the visitors nearly paid the price, but the striker’s effort was tame and went wide of the mark.
The tempo of the game was slowing down as both teams looking for a winning goal to start 2019 in perfect fashion. Wide man Caprice tried a clever shot with the outside of his boot from 25 yards but it was caught by O’Hara with ease.
However, neither team could find the winner and TRFC settled for a point in their first match of 2019. Attention now turns to Friday night's FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur at Prenton Park.
Tranmere: Davies, Buxton, Ridehalgh, Ellis, Monthe, Caprice, Jennings, McCullough, Harris, Smith (Cole 66), Norwood. Unused subs: George, Bakayogo, McNulty, Gilmour, Stockton, Mullin.