Manager Micky Mellon was full of praise for hat-trick hero Rushian Hepburn-Murphy after the forward inspired Tranmere Rovers to a 3-1 away victory at 10-man MK Dons on Saturday afternoon.
Hepburn-Murphy opened the scoring after 19 minutes when he slid Kieron Morris’ cross beyond goalkeeper Lee Nicholls from close-range.
Ben Reeves levelled when he fired a low drive past Scott Davies before Paul Tisdale’s hosts saw Kieran Agard sent off by referee Matt Donohue for a high tackle on Neil Danns, in a frantic final five minutes of the half.
After the break, Hepburn-Murphy struck twice to complete his hat-trick to secure Rovers’ second Sky Bet League One away victory of the season.
And the boss was delighted with Hepburn-Murphy’s display as TRFC moved up to 18th in the division.
Mellon said: “We haven’t quite been able to give him his opportunity. We wanted to give other people a longer go at it, but we were able to do that today, and we have a striker scoring goals for us and he has come in and he has been terrific.
“He has deserved his opportunity, he has been great since he came here, and I’m really, really pleased for him that he took it.
“He is a great lad. We have been using him in wide areas, but we had to try and do something different, and he has gone and got a hat-trick, so full credit to him.”
“We still have that appetite to want to improve and there’s still areas that we want to keep getting better in as we want to drive forward so that is the bottom line.
“It was a good result, a really good performance in a tough game, especially coming off the back of the Sunderland performance, the boys can be really, really pleased with the level of their performance and the result.”
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