It was another scorching day at the Ellesmere Port Sports Village and the final game of pre-season for the Tranmere Rovers Women’s side.
Today we faced familiar opposition in Wem Town Ladies who had made the journey across from Shropshire.
The opening stages of the game were tight with both sides affording little opportunity to the other with Wem Town coming the closest on nine minutes when their forward forced a smart save from Tranmere keeper Katy Maddox.
Tranmere started to get into the groove and took the lead with 12 minutes on the clock when forward Laura Pennington latched onto a long ball sprinting clear of the Wem defence and with the calmness of a veteran she found the far corner of the net.
The heat started to get to the opposition as both their manager and assistant manager ended up in the book in quick succession for their protests towards the match official, but Tranmere remained calm and continued to probe and were rewarded for their efforts when they won a freekick in a very promising position.
Midfielder Beth Wooley stood over the ball ready to whip the ball into the box or so everyone in attendance thought. The referee blew his whistle and up stepped Wooley who took a couple of steps back, she then sent the freekick up and over the wall with the ball whipping into the top right corner of the net.
After 35 minutes Wem had a set piece of their own and a chance to again test Rovers keeper Maddox in the goal, but the Shropshire side couldn’t capitalise with their freekick floating wide of the target.
A couple of minutes before the halftime interval Pennington was released again down the right hand side, she galloped into acres of space and picked out a stunning cross but sadly a white shirt couldn’t connect and Wem cleared. Buoyed by that attack Rovers pressed again and got a third on the stroke of halftime when Ellie Doyle got her name on the scoresheet with a neat finish after a Tranmere corner turned into pinball in the box.
The Halftime whistle blew and there was a lot of talk about the goals as both teams headed for the dressing rooms.
The second half got underway, and Rovers immediately clinched the initiative, as they won an early corner. The corner was taken short with the initial cross from captain Lindsey Smith being blocked she recollected the ball and sent a dangerous cross into the box which caused pinball, but Wem Town managed to eventually clear the danger.
Ten minutes into the second half and the game became a real battle in the middle of the park with both teams pushing hard for possession.
Wooley then had two shots from distance in as many minutes with the second coming from a beautiful passing move which saw the team play the ball from one side to another before Keris McRoberts teed her up, but she couldn’t keep her shot down.
A second half drinks break took place and a refreshed young Anya McCreedy was causing the Wem defence problems. Anya picked up the ball on the left, ran at the Wem defence and she cut inside firing a fierce right footed shot towards the top corner of the net but sadly she could only find the side netting.
There was a scare for Tranmere on 72 minutes when Wem rattled the crossbar with a shot inside the area after a defensive scramble and they pushed again shortly after with another effort curling wide of the target this time.
With seven minutes remaining of the game, Tranmere suffered an injury blow when midfielder Katie Bowers Folan went down under a heavy challenge in the box and had to be replaced.
The clock ticked into the final minutes and Tranmere had one last chance to claim a fourth when a shot inside the area hit the post and rebounded away with the referee blowing the full time whistle immediately after to give Tranmere the victory against National league opposition.
Up next for the Ladies is Darwin FC Ladies away in the first game of the league season at the WEC Anchor Ground on the 21st of August, 2pm Kick off.