Ian Dawes believes Tranmere Rovers’ dramatic 4-3 victory versus Port Vale could be a season-defining moment.
Having trailed 2-0 at half-time, the Whites struck back with a brace from James Vaughan after the interval before the hosts extended their lead with 15 minutes remaining.
Stoppage-time strikes from Kaiyne Woolery and Kieron Morris completed Tranmere’s remarkable turnaround at Vale Park as Rovers displayed their battling qualities.
Attempting to dissect this frenetic Sky Bet League Two contest, Dawes explained why this result could well be of significant importance in the months to come.
“I know it was a 4-3 game, but I was always calm about the side,” he said. “Even at 2-0 down, I thought we played really well and were the team dominating possession and likely to score. We came unstuck with a penalty and a clever set-play. It was great play from them and something we weren’t aware of.
“At half-time, I said to the boys that we were the better team and we had to stay positive. I told them they would come through this with a result and it will be a point in the season where you go, ‘We didn’t half kick-on from there.’”
A turning point in the match arrived in the 52nd minute when Port Vale midfielder Luke Joyce was brandished a straight red card for a tackle on match-winner Morris, though Dawes sensed a Tranmere comeback was on the horizon regardless of this.
“Some people may say the sending off changed the game but even if we had kept eleven men on the pitch, the way we were playing, it was only a matter of time before we broke them down,” he admitted.
“We knew that the next goal after half-time was going to be important: we got it and knew we had the momentum then. Credit to the boys for the character and effort in the team, it was outstanding.
“It was disappointing the way we conceded the third goal, it’s three set-plays conceded today and something we’ve got to look at. But, even at that point, Parky was telling me that we would be fine and that we would get back into this.”