Tranmere Rovers sealed their place in the knock-out stages of the Papa John's Trophy after winning on penalties against Wigan Athletic 3-1, after the game finished 2-2 in normal time.
Kaiyne Woolery and Keiron Morris scored Rovers' goals, with Morris, Danny Lloyd and Ollie Banks scoring TRFC's penalties.
Goalkeeper Joe Murphy was on hand to make three saves during the shoot-out as Tranmere progressed through the group alongside Port Vale.
Tranmere made wholesale changes for the game against Wigan Athletic, with Liam Ridehalgh the only player to keep his place in the team from Saturday’s win at home to Accrington Stanley.
Ridehalgh, the Club’s longest serving player, captained the team against the Latics, whilst the newest member of the squad, midfielder Danny Lloyd, made his debut after signing on a short term contract earlier this week.
Wigan had the better of the early exchange under the floodlights at Prenton Park, with a couple of half opportunities but Tranmere were looking a threat moving forward, with Lloyd and Sam Smith proving to be a handful for the visitors backline.
Lloyd’s pace and tricky was causing a concern for Wigan, and he stung the palms of goalkeeper Owen Evans from just inside the penalty area.
However, with 20 minutes on the clock, striker Will Keane headed Wigan into the lead against the run of play, giving Joe Murphy in the Rovers goal no chance.
Tranmere nearly found a way back into the game in the 25th minute, as the visiting goalkeeper and defender got in the way of one another, allowing Smith to take the ball on the left, but from a tight angle, he shot towards an empty net but couldn’t find the target.
Unfortunately for Rovers, Ridehalgh’s evening came to a premature end through injury with 30 on the clock, Keiron Morris the man to come on.
Into added time in the first half, Woolery drew Rovers level as a miss-placed pass in defence landed at the attacker’s feet, and he calmly slotted the ball into the far-left hand corner.
However, the goal scoring didn’t finish in added time, as Harry McHugh hit a stunning 25-yard strike into the top corner to restore Wigan’s lead.
Wigan started the half with a couple of opportunities, and Tranmere’s first opportunity of the second period saw Danny Walker-Rice fire from 20-yards straight at Evans. Ahead of the second period, Rovers changed goal scorer Woolery for the returning Morgan Ferrier.
Substitute Morris netted a fantastic solo goal, as our number 7 weaved his way through the Wigan defence after collecting a superb pass from debutant Lloyd, to smash the ball beyond the Latics shot stopper, as Tranmere drew level.
A phenomenal save from Joe Murphy ensured the score stayed level as a Wigan pass cut the Tranmere defence open, but Olly Crankshaw was denied by Murphy.
Murphy made another stunning save minutes later, as Kyle Joseph was free in the penalty area but his header was saved expertly by the Tranmere goalkeeper.
The score finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and went to penalties, with Rovers winning the shoot-out 3-1 and progressing to the next round.
Tranmere are next in action this weekend when the SWA travel to Port Vale in the league, kick-off 3pm on Saturday 14th November. The game is available to purchase now on iFollow by CLICKING HERE.
The match report is sponsored by MAIN.
Tranmere: Murphy, Ridehalgh (Morris 30), Ellis, Nelson, Ray, Khan, Lloyd, Banks, Walker-Rice, Woolery (Ferrier 46), Smith. Unused subs: Davies, Nugent, Burton, Hayde, Blackett-Taylor.