With the PS4 and Academy sides coming towards the end of pre-season, it was the Xbox team that was in the spotlight this week with some tough fixtures in the XVPG Premier League.
The PS4 team now has their fixtures for the upcoming season in the VPG Premier League with Heads Up providing the opposition for their first game in the top flight of VPG.
The squad list for the first team will be announced on Sunday 5th May ahead of the start of the season on Monday 6th May.
It was a difficult start to the week for the esports side with them facing two sides affiliated with EFL clubs. At the start of the week, Northampton sat second in the XVPG Premier League table with Southend occupying 8th.
XVPG Premier League – Northampton esports 2-1 TRFC esports Xbox
It was clear from the outset that Northampton had a very strong side and the home side should have taken the lead in the second minute, Cave firing wide from a good position. Cave was involved again two minutes later, playing in Slaz who forced a good save out of Batt in the Tranmere goal.
Northampton continued to pile on the pressure and they finally found a way through in the 15th minute. Rovers midfielder Nathan Jackson dallied on the ball midway inside the Rovers half allowing Northampton’s Slaz to dispossess him. The ball was then played into Northampton striker DS10, who rocketed a shot past Batt and into the Rovers net.
Midway through the first half, Rovers managed to get more of a foothold in the game, with Jonathan Harvey forcing a good save from the Northampton keeper. Rovers then levelled the match just before the break. Luke Taylor was released on the Rovers right and he cut the ball back for Jacob Lawrenson to squeeze in at the near post.
The goal gave Rovers some confidence but the turning point of the match came just after the hour mark when Jacob Lawrenson was brought down inside the box for a Tranmere penalty. Tranmere’s top scorer took the penalty himself, but was denied by the Northampton keeper diving low to his right.
In the 70th minute, Northampton scored the goal which would eventually win them the game. Tranmere committed too many men forward and a quick Northampton counter attack released Cave on the right. The Northampton midfielder had the simplest of tasks to lay the ball to DS10, the Northampton striker squeezing the ball under Batt in the Tranmere goal to make it 2-1.
XVPG Premier League – Southend esports 2-3 TRFC esports Xbox
The second game of the night saw the Xbox side go up against Southend esports in a battle of two midtable sides in the XVPG Premier League.
It was Tranmere who struck first midway through the first half, Jacob Lawrenson beating the Southend offside trap before stroking the ball past the Southend keeper. It would stay that way throughout the first half with the score at the break reading Southend 0-1 Tranmere.
However, the Xbox side switched off after half-time, allowing Southend to equalise. Southend’s Brown danced his way through the left side of the Tranmere defence before slotting the ball through to Gizmo, who stabbed the ball beyond Batt and into the Rovers net.
Tranmere continued to press despite the goal and retook the lead soon after. Some great passing play led to Taylor crossing the ball to striker Damon Graham, Graham bringing the ball down before setting up Jonathan Harvey for the simplest of tap ins.
Southend levelled the game up for the second time on the hour mark with a well worked free-kick. The free-kick was taken short to Guiness, the Southend man turning and playing in the onrushing Shashi. Jonathan Harvey did his best to get a block in, but he couldn’t stop the Southend man from firing the ball into the Tranmere net,
It looked like the game would end in a draw but Tranmere found a winner with just two minutes left. Some great pressing from Rovers striker Lawrenson allowed him to rob the ball from Southend keeper Robinson before smashing the ball home to give Tranmere a 3-2 win in the XVPG Premier League.
XVPG Premier League – Prestige XI 3-1 TRFC esports Xbox
It wasn’t the greatest of starts to the night on Thursday for the Xbox team against bottom of the table Prestige XI, Prestige taking all three points with a fine 3-1 win.
They took the lead in just the 7th minute, Bubbles firing across Batt and in at the far post after a slick move on the Tranmere right.
The bottom side in the XVPG Premier League doubled their lead midway through the first half when Skittls poked home a cross from the left-hand side following some good build up play.
The Xbox side looked a little shell-shocked so it was no surprise when Prestige made it three. Adam Davies brought down a Prestige player inside the box for a penalty. Bubbles, brimming with confidence after his earlier goal, made no mistake, sliding the ball past the dive of Dan Batt in the Rovers goal.
The Xbox side did manage to score a consolation goal in the second half through Jacob Lawrenson but the damage had already been done and Prestige XI went away with all three points.
XVPG Premier League - Team Tiempo 1-2 TRFC esports Xbox
Fourth place Team Tiempo where the opposition for the final game of the week, with the Xbox side keen to bounce back after their loss to Prestige XI.
Tranmere took the lead with just five minutes played as they looked to show that the Prestige result was just an anomaly. Jonathan Harvey played in Jacob Lawrenson on the Tranmere right, the top goal scorer turning provider to slide the ball across for Damon Graham, who smashed the ball into the Tiempo net.
A mistake from Rovers defender Horton almost allowed Tiempo a way back into the game midway through the half but Horton recovered to make a sublime last-ditch tackle and deny Tiempo a certain goal.
Unfortunately, it didn’t hold back Tiempo for long, the away side equalising in the 35th minute. A through ball from Mann found its way to Khalif, the Tiempo man composing himself before rocketing a shot past Dan Batt from inside the six-yard-box.
It stayed that way until the 73rd minute with the sides cancelling each other out until Tranmere were given a golden chance to take the lead. Jonathan Harvey sprinted his way into the Tiempo box only to be barged over by one of the Tiempo players, the referee awarding a penalty to Tranmere. Jacob Lawrenson stepped up and sent the Tiempo goalkeeper the wrong way to give Rovers the lead.
The Xbox side could have extended their lead in stoppage time but a Vinnie Skinner shot was well saved by the Tiempo goalkeeper and the game finished 2-1 to Tranmere.
This week’s results mean the Xbox side currently sit 7th in the XVPG Premier League with 14 points from ten games.
PS4 Academy team
Our Academy side now has its own dedicated twitter account. You can follow their progress at the link below:
Their season also starts on Monday 6th May with VPG Fantomfox providing the opposition.