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Match Reports

Colchester 0-2 Tranmere

23 March 2019

Tranmere Rovers made it six league wins on the spin for the first time in nearly 30 years with a 2-0 triumph at Colchester United.

A lovely first half chip from James Norwood, his 28th of the campaign, set Rovers on their way, before David Perkins, who set up Norwood for his goal, grabbed his first in Tranmere colours less than a minute into the second half to secure an impressive win on the road.

Tranmere were backed by a tremendous following in Essex, with nearly 500 of the SWA making the journey, and they sang throughout the contest, being the 12th man for Rovers as they continued their excellent form in League Two.

Manager Micky Mellon named the same line up which beat Grimsby Town last time out at Prenton Park ten days ago.

Colchester and Tranmere both had a chance apiece in the opening five minutes. Tranmere were first to have a go on goal, donning the third strip (red) due to Colchester’s home colours, midfielder Connor Jennings smashed the ball into the side netting from a tight angle.

At the other end of the goal, Courtney Senior bent a free-kick over the cross bar from 20-yards after a foul from Luke McCullough on the end of the box. Sammie Szmodics lashed over an effort from a similar position a couple of minutes later.

Colchester were seeing more of possession, but Tranmere sent the travelling support from the Wirral into raptures in the 23rd minute through, you guessed it, our favourite number 10, Norwood. 

Perkins won the ball back excellently inside his own half and the former Colchester man drove forward and threaded an inch perfect pass for top goal scorer Norwood to run onto and score his 28th of the campaign with a delightful dink over the goalkeeper.

Colchester looked for an immediate response as number two Ryan Jackson hit a ferocious strike just an inch past of the post. The Tranmere defensive unit were looking strong, seeing off the Colchester threat up until the half time whistle, and took a deserved lead into the break with still plenty of work to do.

The second half began in absolutely perfect fashion and Perkins turned from provider to goal scorer to put Rovers two goals to the good within 50 seconds of the restart. Full back Caprice raced into the penalty box and dragged the ball back for Jennings, who stabbed the ball towards goal and was just kept out by goalkeeper Dillon Barnes, however Perkins was in position to hammer into the roof of the goal.

Colchester's first meaningful chance of the half fell to the feet of Szmodics but he fired straight down the throat of captain Scott Davies.

The first TRFC change came just after the hour mark, Ben Pringle coming off in the place of fellow winger Keiron Morris, who returned to the matchday squad after a spell on the sidelines.

Davies, who had a relatively quiet afternoon, made an absolute phenomenal save in the 68th minute, to deny Abo Eisa’s 25-yard free-kick, pushing the ball against the post and Caprice reacted the quickest to hack away.

In the 70th minute, Mellon made his second change as Ollie Banks came off for fellow midfielder Jay Harris as Rovers looked to tighten up in the middle of the park.

Tranmere were managing the game excellently, thwarting any Colchester United attack and defending everything thrown their way.

With ten minutes remaining, Norwood, looking for his brace, hit a 25-yard free-kick goal, which the goalkeeper initially spilled but he quickly dived on the ball to deny an incoming Rovers player.

Tranmere stood strong and sealed an important victory on the road and the attention is now set on next weekend’s home match against Carlisle United.

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Davies, Caprice, Ellis, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Pringle (Morris 61), Banks (70), McCullough, Perkins, Jennings, Norwood. Unused subs: Pilling, Nelson, Gilmour, Mullin, Dagnall.

Attendance: 3,800 (466 away fans)


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