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Match Reports

Accrington Stanley 1-2 Tranmere Rovers

7 March 2020

Goals from James Vaughan and Mark Ellis earned Tranmere Rovers a second straight win in Sky Bet League One as they secured a 2-1 victory away at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

Vaughan’s unmarked header sent Tranmere into a ninth minute lead in East Lancashire, following Kieron Morris’ set-piece.

Ellis tapped in Rovers’ second of the afternoon with 12 minutes of the game to play from Peter Clarke’s cross – his second goal since his return after a long-term injury.

Accrington pulled one back on 82 minutes as Bobby Grant’s set-piece was turned into his own net by Alex Woodyard.

Accrington had Harvey Rodgers sent off by referee Will Finnie in the third minute of injury time when he fouled Vaughan.

Manager Micky Mellon brought Connor Jennings into the starting line-up in place of forward Andy Cook.

Rovers had to deal with some early pressure from their hosts, with Scott Davies having to drop down well to keep out Dion Charles’ effort.

Having dealt with a testing early period, Rovers opened the scoring through Vaughan.

Jennings weaved his way through before being brought down by Jerome Okopu. From Morris’ resulting free-kick, Vaughan planted his close-range header beyond goalkeeper Josef Bursik.

In response, John Coleman’s Stanley saw Mark Ellis valiantly block Colby Bishop’s strike, while Clarke charged down Jordan Clark’s drive.

Blackett-Taylor then surged down into the box after getting the better of Callum Johnson, to cut inside into the box and shooting powerfully just past Bursik’s upright.

Accrington’s next opportunity came in a free-kick situation on 35 minutes, when Jennings fouled Charles. Joe Pritchard struck from distance that cleared Davies’ crossbar and into the packed terrace housing the SWA.

As the half entered its closing stages, Johnson’s lofted pass found its way to Bishop, who glanced wide.

Rovers created the final chance of the first-half, with Kane Wilson’s cross headed into the path of Morris, who skipped towards goal but his shot bobbled into Bursik’s grasp.

After the restart, Davies to watch Sam Finley’s whipped across into his grasp, prior to Pritchard cutting in from the right, evading Wilson’s challenge, to bend the ball just over the crossbar.

Vaughan, looking to add to his headed opener, hooked a volley from 20-yards wide after good build-up play involving Woodyard and Morris.

Captain Davies was on hand to preserve Rovers’ ascendancy, dropping down sharply to his left to deny Pritchard’s low attempt which came from Johnson’s cross.

Mellon then made a double substitution on the hour mark, with Luke McCullough replaced by Neil Danns, while Jennings made way for David Perkins.

Tranmere were then forced to defend when Wilson superbly tackled Pritchard in the box, before a combination of Clarke and Perkins cleared Offrande Zanzala’s cross.

Clark galloped through into the area and struck wide for Accrington, before Rovers broke on a swift counter attack with 20 minutes left when Blackett-Taylor thumped close.

Mellon’s men doubled their advantage right in front of over 1,100 of the SWA after 78  minutes, when Morris’ corner dropped to Clarke at the back post, who drove across goal for defensive partner Ellis to tap in.

Accrington halved the deficit with eight minutes to play, with Woodyard diverting Grant’s free-kick over Davies and into the far corner.

Then came a bombardment of the Rovers box in the seven minutes of injury-time which followed.

Rodgers was dismissed for a rash foul on Vaughan, with Rovers seeing out injury-time to secure another big victory on their travels.

Next up for TRFC is a visit to Bloomfield Road for a rearranged fixture away at Blackpool on Tuesday night, kick-off 7:45pm.

TRFC: Davies ©, Wilson, Clarke, Ellis, Ridehalgh, Woodyard, McCullough (Danns 60), Morris, Blackett-Taylor (Monthe 86), Jennings (Perkins 60), Vaughan

Subs not used: Pilling, Banks Ferrier, Cook​


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