Tranmere Rovers’ journey in the Carabao Cup came to an end in the first round after losing 4-3 on penalties at Oldham Athletic, with the score finishing 2-2.
Elliott Nevitt scored his first senior goal for Tranmere after Sam Foley’s opener, but Oldham hit back twice to make it 2-2 on the night and send the match to penalties.
Nevitt was handed his competitive professional debut by manager Micky Mellon for the cup tie at Boundary Park. Meanwhile, Foley and Joe Maguire came into the line-up for their first competitive starts for the Club, as did Celtic loanee Ross Doohan in goal.
Roared on by a strong travelling support from Wirral, Rovers, donning their new home kit, Oldham were the first team to show danger in the opposition penalty box, with two chances heading wide and a late clearance for a corner.
Doohan was soon forced into his first save as a Tranmere goalkeeper, denying Carl Piergianni’s header from a corner kick.
Oldham were the team on the front foot throughout the first half, and nearly went into the break with a goal advantage when Dylan Bahamboula shot nearly curled into the far corner.
However, in the 42nd minute, with our first real attack of the game, we took the lead, when Paul Glatzel delicately played the ball into the path of Foley to slide the ball into the far corner.
Firing towards the travelling TRFC supporters, the second half began with an early corner which former Oldham man Peter Clarke nearly got a shot away. From this, Oldham broke away and fired over Doohan’s goal from the edge of the box.
Tranmere went two goals to the good in the 52nd minute as Nevitt calmly took the ball down with his chest from a cross and smashed beyond the goalkeeper, a dream first start in front of the travelling support from Birkenhead.
Oldham pulled a goal back in the 60th minute when a weaving run from the left resulted in the ball being turned home by a blue shirt inside the penalty area.
The Latics’ goal resulted in Mellon making his first change of the match, as Nevitt was withdrawn for fellow striker Emmanuel Dieseruvwe
A second change for TRFC followed in the 65th minute as Jay Spearing was drafted in for Ryan Watson.
Junior Luamba nearly punished TRFC when the visitors handed possession to the hosts deep inside their own half, but luckily Oldham’s shot was an easy collection for Doohan.
Oldham tied the match in the 69th minute as Davis Keillor-Dunn hit a free-kick which took a heavy deflection off Tom Davies to wrong foot Doohan and even the score once again at Boundary Park.
Tranmere came within inches of regaining the lead with just over quarter of an hour to play but three strong blocks by blue shirts denied Rovers.
In the 82nd minute, Calum McManaman was withdrawn for last weekend’s Man of the Match versus Walsall, Liam Feeney.
TRFC did have the ball in the net a couple of minutes later as Dieseruvwe turned home Glatzel’s cross but it was ruled out for offside. Immediately at the other end, Oldham hit the bar to set up a tense finale in this first round cup tie.
Glatzel had a great chance in the dying embers of the match but a smart save from the Oldham shot stopper denied him his first goal for the Club. However, the game finished 2-2 and a penalty shootout decided the winner.
Spearing, Morris and Dieseruvwe found the net for Tranmere but Glatzel and Clarke missed with Oldham victorious after only missing one of their penalties.
Our next game will be away at Port Vale on Saturday 14th August, 3pm kick-off. Tickets are still on sale for the clash at Vale Park, and alternatively, you can listen to the game live on iFollow.
TRFC: Doohan, Maguire, Clarke, Davies, Cogley, Foley, Watson (Spearing 65), Morris, Glatzel, McManaman (Feeney 82), Nevitt (Dieseruvwe 60) Unused subs: Murphy, Jolley, Hayde, Stratulis.