Tranmere Rovers drew two-a-piece to Sutton United at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon.
Micky Mellon’s side went in to the game still looking for their first win of the New Year, and despite the visitors taking the lead, Rovers managed to get in front – but were pegged back just moments later.
The fixture started with a memorial service, where Prenton Park honoured and remembered all of those who we have lost in 2022.
Within the first 8 minutes, there was a scare for Tranmere as a free kick was flicked on just outside of the 18-yard box. It was met by Tranmere defender, Jordan Turnbull, whose header luckily steered wide of Doohan’s post.
Sutton were the first team to have a shot on target, which hit the back of the net. A swooping move from left to right resulted in midfielder, Alistair Smith, tucking the ball home from 8 yards out for his first goal of the Sky Bet League Two season.
Tranmere eventually grew into the game with two shots from outside the area within just minutes of each other, however Morris’ and Merrie’s shots were both blasted high and wide.
Hemmings had the first shot on target for Rovers as his low half-volley was well-saved by Sutton goalkeeper, Jack Rose.
Tranmere started to progress up the pitch with some purpose, as Merrie’s sliding pass was crossed on the right by Josh Dacres-Cogley. Despite it meeting the foot of the Sutton defender, Jordan Turnbull was alert to win it back and play the ball to Josh Hawkes, who cut inside and produced a spectacular finish into the top right corner to level the scoring.
Both teams went into the break at one goal each, with one change at the interval – Joel Mumbongo was replaced by Elliott Nevitt.
Tranmere came out hungry to improve on the first half performance, with much more attacking threat.
Kane Hemmings put Rovers in the lead in the 57th minute, as the ball was fed into him on the edge of the box, before a good touch and a low strike which cannoned into the bottom left corner.
Just three minutes later, the goal was equalled as Alistair Smith picked the ball up from the halfway line and drove into the Tranmere half, before fancying his chances and striking the ball. A save which should be made comfortably went through Doohan’s gloves and into the net to once again level the scoring.
Shortly after, a reaction from a Sutton player saw the play halted. Morris and Hemmings for Tranmere, as well as Craig Eastmond for Sutton, were given yellow cards.
One final chance loomed for the visitors, as a corner was crossed in from the left-hand side, and was met by the head of the Sutton attacker which was directed at goal – however Jordan Turnbull saved his side with a clearance off the line.
Despite being the dominant side for large spells of the second half, Micky Mellon’s side couldn’t quite get the winning goal to secure three points. However, Rovers do pick up their first point and positive result of the new calendar year, as they head into a big game at home to Walsall next weekend.
Tranmere Team: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Turnbull, Bristow, Hawkes (Mcalear, 87’), Merrie, O’Connor, Morris, Mumbongo (Nevitt, 45’), Hemmings ©.
Sutton United Team: Rose, Kizzi, John, Goodliffe, Milsom, Boldewijn (Ajiboye, 67’), Eastmond, Smith, Randall, Bugiel, Wilson (Neufville, 67’).
Match Officials: Marc Edwards (Referee), Steve Rushton & Gary Hilton (Assistant Referees), Marvyn Amphlett (Fourth Official).