Tranmere Rovers got their pre-season games underway at The Campus on Tuesday morning against TNS, narrowly losing by one goal to nil.
Mike Jackson fielded a different side in each half of the friendly. Both squads consisted of senior professionals, first year professionals, and trialists.
Both teams began the game without creating many chances but managing to enjoy spells of possession on the ball.
The first real chance was created by Rovers. Ollie Banks picked up the up halfway into the TNS half and floated a ball brilliantly towards Vaughan at the back post who forced a low save out of the TNS keeper with his flying header.
TNS then carved out an opportunity of their own with a dangerous cross from the left. Ridehalgh was well positioned to head the ball away however it cannoned back off a Rovers player and narrowly went over the bar for a corner.
Towards the end of the half, Morgan Ferrier came close to breaking the deadlock. He picked the ball up on the left hand side, beat his man for pace and broke into the box however the covering TNS defender just managed to clear the ball before Ferrier could release his shot.
At half time it was wholesale changes for Rovers as Mike Jackson swapped the full XI in order to get important minutes in the legs right throughout the squad.
It was TNS who had the majority of the ball in the Rovers half in the second period. Kyle Hayde did brilliantly to divert two back post crosses away from goal to deny a certain goal.
Otis Khan, who came on at half time, displayed some very positive signs early on. He dribbled past a series of TNS players before being dragged down on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was took by Otis himself and forced the TNS keeper into a low save to his right with a dipping shot.
In the 75th minute, the deadlock was broken. TNS switched the play to the left flank, the winger paced into the box and cut it back for an onrushing midfielder who placed it into the bottom left corner to make it one nil to the visitors.
Looking to respond, it was once again Khan who was the danger man. He showed blistering pace to beat two defenders down the left, cut inside the box but the TNS keeper did well to close him down and block the shot with his chest.
That was to be the final chance of the game and a good workout for Rovers in their first game back in approximately five months.
Rovers will look to build and get more minutes in the legs in upcoming friendlies before the start of the 2020/21 campaign on September 12th.
First half XI: Davies, O’Connor, Clarke, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Banks, Spearing, Blackett-Taylor, Trialist, Vaughan, Ferrier
Second half XI: Trialist, Hayde, Ray, Trialist, Gouldbourne, Walker-Rice, Lewis, Khan, Payne, Nugent, Morris