Crawley Town 4 v Tranmere Rovers 0 – match report
Tuesday 27th October 2020
Mike Jackon’s search for his first away win as Tranmere manager continues after an incredibly disappointing Tuesday night league performance against Crawley Town.
The ‘Whites’ went into this game with the hope of adding to the win which they picked up on the weekend after a solid performance at Prenton Park against Southend United. Crawley Town went in with the aim of halting Tranmere’s progression, up the league table, as they searched for a win after two games without. Whoever won this encounter would be above their opponents in the league table at full time, thus spectators were in for an interesting and closely contested game between two sides who were in need of a win.
The first ten minutes of the game started off well, both sides seemed to match each other in their defensive duties and both sides looked strong going forward. Liam Feeney was able to beat one man down the right but he was stopped before he could get a successful cross in. At the other end of the pitch, Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies was called into action and he made a great save to deny Powell’s powerful shot before the rebound was scrambled wide. It was evident that Tranmere weren’t playing well enough, the Crawley attackers were able to get past the Rovers midfield to pressurise the Tranmere defence whenever they felt like attacking. Young forward Max Watters broke through on goal before firing over the bar before full back Josh Doherty scruffed a shot from the edge of the box, the shot failed to hit the target. Crawley opened the scoreline in the opening fifteen minutes, Watters being able to reach the back of the Tranmere net this time around after a pass from a Crawley man which found its way through the Tranmere midfield. Tranmere looked for an immediate comeback through Feeney when he was able to win a corner after his cross from the right was blocked. However, nothing would come from this set piece. Loanee midfielder Jack Young released a shot from distance but he failed to hit the target with his effort. Shortly after the midfielders goal-bound attempt, the hosts managed to score two in quick succession. Nichols got into the box and buried the ball past the Rovers goalkeeper before a goal-line scramble after a cross was able to be fired past Davies. Tranmere manager Mike Jackson saw the next few moments as a good opportunity for his first substitution of the evening as O’connor replaced Ridehalgh. He was soon forced into making his second substitution, centre-half Mark Ellis became injured and was thus taken off for Sid Nelson. Not much else happened in the first half after the Tranmere substitutions were made. There were only two slight chances remaining and they were both attacks for the visitors. Forward, on loan from Reading, Sam Smith tried to latch onto a short ball back to the keeper but Morris was able to clear the ball away from his goal and wing-back Feeney’s deep cross was palmed into the path of Morris who tried to shoot but saw his effort blocked.
HALF TIME; Crawley Town 3 Tranmere Rovers 0
The second half was more of a close contest, the hosts evidently more conservative in their playing style as they had already scored the goals that would see them be victorious over their visitors. Tranmere had the first attack of the second half, Sam Smith ran onto a long ball and was able to win a corner before Feeney’s cross was punched away. Smith was soon in action again, after he met a great pass from fellow forward James Vaughan. He tried to poke it past the keeper on the stretch but the ref soon blew for a foul. Smith received Tranmere’s first yellow card of the evening. At the other end, Davies got down well to his right to palm away Matthew’s shot. Frustrations flared through the Rovers players as it became more evident that they would return to Merseyside with no points, this frustration saw forward James Vaughan booked for a late tackle. The final Tranmere substitution of the game came within the final thirty minutes, forward Corey Blackett-Taylor replaced midfielder Jay Spearing as manager Mike Jackson aimed to get a goal to cause a late spot of bother for the hosts. This was Blackett-Taylor’s first involvement of the season so far. However, it was the hosts that came closest to scoring next as Powell fired a low cross into the box which was then scrambled away by the Rovers defence. Rovers forward Kieron Morris soon drove forward and shot from 25 yards but this attempt went sailing over the bar. Tranmere’s final attack of the evening came when Feeney’s inswinging corner was caught by the keeper but the ref blew for a foul straight after. Crawley soon put the game to bed, in what was a terribly frustrating game for Tranmere.
Full time; Crawley Town 4 Tranmere Rovers 0
If I am to be brutally honest I believe that the lack of passion, talent etc from the Tranmere players and the lack of intelligence from the Tranmere manager has to be questioned from what I witnessed over the course of the ninety minutes.
Tonight saw Tranmere’s heaviest fourth division defeat since the 6-0 hammering to Scunthorpe United in January 1987. This game also means that Tranmere have failed to score for the sixth time in nine league games. There are some big questions to answer over the course of the following few weeks.
Possession – 48%/52%
Shots – 18/5
Shots on target – 6/0
Corners – 5/4
Fouls – 17/19
Quotes from manager Mike Jackson after a very disappointing evening game in West Sussex:
“It’s disappointing with the goals we conceded because you then give yourself a massive uphill task to try and get back in the game. You’ve got to start the game better defensively and we had a couple of warnings with runners. I saw the guys have a go in the second half. They’ve had to try and regroup, it shocked them a little bit but I could see that they were trying to get back in the game. It was too late by then; they had a rally up and I said we needed to get the next goal- which we didn’t manage to do. What we need to do now is regroup. We’ve had a good meeting with the lads there and everyone had their say on what we need to be doing. It’s now about trying to improve on the basics, the consistency of the performance and everyone taking responsibility within that. They’re hurting. I don’t think that game tonight was anything about tactics at the start of the game. At the start of every game, you’ve got to make sure you’re defending properly and are available to get on the ball. There was no sign of that or any urgency, and we needed that. We go back to work now and will get back on the training pitch.”
Tranmere are next in action on Saturday, they are set to face Derek Adam’s Morecambe in a league two fixture at Prenton Park.