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Match Reports

Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Exeter City

18 April 2022

Match Reports

Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Exeter City

18 April 2022

It was back to winning ways for Tranmere, as goals from Josh Hawkes and Elliott Nevitt gave Rovers a crucial three points against Exeter City.

The comfortable 2-0 victory moves Rovers back into the play-off places in 7th place, with just three games to go in the League Two season. 

The half started in frantic fashion, with both sides having chances early on. The first chance of the game fell for Tom Davies, whose header glanced over the bar following a Chris Merrie corner. 

Just minutes later, Exeter came inches away from breaking the deadlock as Offrande Zanzala turned his man and struck a powerful shot that rattled the Tranmere crossbar.

In the 11th minute, Elliott Nevitt had his first opportunity of the game as he beat his man before drilling a low shot from a tight angle, but Cameron Dawson was equal to it as he made a good save at his near post.

The early end-to-end football didn’t stop there, as Exeter defender Cheick Diabate was left unmarked from a corner. Much to the relief of the Rovers defence, Diabate’s flick from close range went just wide of Joe Murphy’s back post.

Callum McManaman showed his quality in the first half as he made life difficult for the away defence. In the 16th minute, he beat two Exeter defenders before cutting onto his left foot and curling a long-range effort just wide of the far post.

Both teams settled down around the 20-minute mark and the game tightened up. Exeter defenders Josh Key and Pierce Sweeney delivered many crosses into the Rovers box, but the home side defended them well overall.

In the 34th minute, Tranmere were awarded a free kick for a high boot on Merrie. Josh Hawkes took the free kick, curling the ball through the weak Exeter wall before Dawson saved the effort well in the bottom corner.

With just five minutes remaining of the first half, Hawkes scored the opener for Tranmere. Nevitt showed great strength and determination to win a physical battle before laying the ball off to McManaman who found the run of Kane Hemmings. The forward then cut the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Hawkes, who put the ball in the back of the empty net to round off a fantastic team move by Rovers.

Despite an injury time opportunity for Exeter’s top scorer Timothee Dieng that was headed over the bar, Tranmere went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

In the 56th minute, McManaman attacked down the right before crossing the ball into Nevitt, who layed off Hemmings. The striker’s effort from 12 yards out was well deflected over the bar by Sam Stubbs.

The second half was a much more cagey affair than the first, with Tranmere defending well against the onslaught of Exeter crosses to deny them any clear goalscoring opportunities.

However, Tranmere grew stronger as the game went on, and they doubled their lead in the 81st minute. Merrie showed quick feet in a tight space before curling a cross in to the unmarked Nevitt, who managed to generate enough power on his header to find the bottom corner brilliantly.

The chances kept coming for Rovers, as Josh Dacres-Cogley made a mazy run into the penalty area, before squaring the ball to Sam Foley who bent the ball narrowly wide of the bottom corner.

Tranmere saw out the six minutes of injury team with ease to secure a huge home win at Prenton Park.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to Stevenage on Saturday 23rd April.

Tranmere team: Murphy, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Clarke, Merrie, McManaman (McPake 87’), O’Connor, Warrington, Hawkes (Foley 80’), Nevitt, Hemmings


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