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Feature

Our road to Wembley!

12 March 2021

Tranmere Rovers are back at Wembley for a fourth time in as many years when they face Sunderland in the Papa John’s Trophy Final on Sunday.

Keith Hill’s men will compete against the Black Cats under the arch as TRFC aim for success at the home of English football.

Take a look at Rovers’ road to Wembley and how they got to the competition’s final.

Group stage

Tranmere were drawn into a group which included Port Vale, Wigan Athletic and Liverpool U21s.

Rovers kick-started their Papa John’s Trophy at Vale Park back in September.

Following on from a goalless draw in Staffordshire, TRFC were defeated 4-3 on penalties.

Later that month, Liverpool U21s visited Prenton Park, with Tranmere coming out on top in a five-goal game, winning 3-2.

James Vaughan’s double and Stefan Payne’s strike secured Rovers’ opening victory to set up a tense finale against Wigan Athletic to secure passage into the knockout stages.

Previous results meant that Tranmere and Wigan went head-to-head in the final group game for a knockout stage progression.

Will Keane scored Wigan’s opener before Kaiyne Woolery levelled for Rovers on the stroke of half-time only for Harry McHugh to strike the visiting Latics back ahead.

Kieron Morris’ second-half equaliser took the tie to penalties, with Morris’ decisive spot kick sealing progression.

Knockout rounds  

TRFC 2-1 Manchester City U21s – 8/12/20: second-round

Rovers’ second round northern section draw saw Hill’s players go up against Manchester City U21s at Prenton Park.

Liam Delap sent City ahead, but Danny Lloyd and Ollie Banks’ late penalty put Rovers into the next stage.

TRFC 4-2 Leicester City – 13/01/21: third-round

Tranmere defeated another Premier League U21 side in the form of Leicester City in a high-scoring clash on the Wirral.

Rovers were 3-1 up at half-time courtesy of strikes from Morgan Ferrier and Lloyd’s double.

Jacob Wakeling and Thanawat Suengchitthawon pulled two goals back for the Foxes either side of the break prior to Corey Blackett-Taylor made the game safe with a well-taken goal late on.

TRFC 2-1 Peterborough United – 2/2/21: quarter-final

Rovers were paired with Sky Bet League One opposition for their quarter-final encounter and renewed a cup tradition with Posh, the two sides have met numerous times down the years in various knock out competitions.

Former Posh man Lloyd’s free-kick from 25-yards seven minutes from the interval put Rovers in command when he curled the ball into Christy Pym’s far corner.

Paul Lewis’ excellent header with eight minutes to go from Otis Khan’s enticing cross put TRFC further into the lead.

A stoppage-time penalty from Jonson Clarke-Harris, who dispatched beyond Joe Murphy proved a consolation for the Posh who left Prenton Park empty handed as Rovers triumphed at their home ground.

Oxford United 0-2 TRFC – 16/2/21: semi-final

Tranmere reached Wembley in clinical style after they won away at another Sky Bet League One promotion-hopeful in the form of Oxford United.

Having done well defensively at the start of the match, TRFC struck when Woolery on 35 minutes when the forward controlled Scott Davies’ long-kick to powerfully hit a low drive into Simon Eastwood’s bottom corner.

A turning point was after Matt Taylor blazed a second-half penalty over Davies’ bar.

And Tranmere took full advantage with 36 minutes played after Lloyd’s free kick was cleared but only to Morris who swept in a half-volley.

Rovers professionally overcame the final 20 minutes to book their place at Wembley for a fourth time since 2017 with Sunderland now waiting at the home of English football on Sunday…


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