Tranmere Rovers v Accrington Stanley
Saturday 7th November 2020
This Saturday, Tranmere progressed into the second round of the FA Cup competition with a win over Accrington Stanley. This was Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson’s second game together as joint interim managers, meaning that with them at a position of power Tranmere have won two from two. This weekend they faced a team of a better standard, from a league above, in Accrington Stanley. Thus, the performance that followed would have to be of good quality. It was an exciting game between two good performing sides, despite the difficult weather conditions of a cold Merseyside afternoon in early November.
First half –
Little happened before the first substitution of the afternoon, both sides looked set to pose an attacking threat but nothing much was created before the injured Paul Lewis was replaced by Otis Khan. Liam Feeney soon linked up with Corey Blackett-Taylor to pose a threat to the Accrington defence, Feeney played a good pass out to Blackett-Taylor who looked to get at his man but the defender got a touch in before he could get going. At the other end, loanee full-back Lee O’Connor put a brilliant block in as he dived to get his body in the way of Pritchard’s shot. The first goal of the game came when Khan led a break away counter attack from an Accrington corner. Youngster Blackett-Taylor drove past many defenders before firing a shot, out of the reach of the visiting goalkeeper, into the far corner. Sykes soon headed wide from a deep cross into the Rovers box for the visitors. Both sides were attacking and defending extremely well. Rovers nearly got their second of the game when Khan’s shot inside the box was tipped around the post by Baxter. This happened before Vaughan turned his man brilliantly and fed winger Feeney who saw his shot cleared away. The scoreline was levelled when Bishop headed in at the far post. In an attempt to add another, Accrington man Pritchard paced down the left but O’Connor did well to tackle him and kick it back off him for a goal kick. At the other end, Vaughan came close to adding another for the hosts when Feeney delivered a brilliant cross from the left but the cross could only travel inches away from the striker’s foot. Accrington’s last attack of the first half came when Bishop nodded the ball down to Charles. Charles was unable to control the ball properly and poked it wide from inside the box. For the hosts, Feeney supplied another great cross but this was flicked away at the far post by Sykes. The last chance of the half for Dawes and Parkinson’s men came when Morris’ fierce shot from inside the box hit the bar.
Half time – Tranmere Rovers 1 Accrington Stanley 1
Second half –
Early on in the second half, Rovers posed many threats to their opponents defence. Blackett-Taylor took on Charles before he tried to cut it back to Khan, the ball being intercepted. Feeney’s deep corner met the head of Ridehalgh, the defender diving to meet the cross. However, he failed to divert his header on target. Although Tranmere started the half off in a positive fashion, it was Accrington that came closest to turning the scoreline in their direction of victory. Nottingham struck the ball on to the post from a 25 yard shot. A second change for Rovers came when Kaiyne Woolery replaced Corey Blackett-Taylor, the youngster had certainly impressed with his forward play. An Accrington man was booked when Butcher dragged Khan back. Khan was attempting to get away from his opponent on the wing. Substitute Kaiyne Woolery soon displayed his talent when he flicked the ball onto Khan in the box, Khan’s shot was parried away by Baxter for a corner. Davies was called into action when he made a good save from a Pritchard shot, the ball was heading in the direction of the top corner. Centre-half Manny Monthe nearly poked the ball in from Feeney’s corner, the visiting defence managed to scramble clear. The game was won for Tranmere with a brilliant header, from Monthe’s defensive partner, Peter Clarke. Clarke met Feeney’s corner and netted his second competitive goal of the season. There was little action after this until full time. However, Accrington man Burgess was booked for dragging back Kaiyne Woolery as the forward countered. Both sides aimed to get another goal, yet the game was to finish Tranmere Rovers 2 Accrington Stanley 1.
Full time – Tranmere Rovers 2 Accrington Stanley 1
Facts and stats –
Possession – 53%/47%
Shots – 9/18
Shots on target – 5/5
Corners – 7/7
Fouls – 13/9
Quotes from the manager –
“On the whole, I thought the team deserved the win. The way we applied ourselves on the pitch, both with and without the ball, was outstanding. Anyone who watched the game would have been entertained and also understood that we deserved the win. We know what to expect when you’re playing an Accrington side: they’re always going to be 100 per cent and well-organised. We looked at the team and just knew it was going to be crossed into the box and set-plays to deal with. If you look at the size of our side compared to theirs, I thought we defended excellently. It was an important win, to show everybody from the outside, and even in the changing room, that Tuesday wasn’t just a one-off- it’s a platform to build from. Like I said after Tuesday, it wasn’t perfect by any stretch and we need to improve. There were more signs of improvement today and we’ve got to continue that work. Regarding Corey, we know what he’s capable of doing. He was great today; he’s looking sharp in every game and took his goal brilliantly. I’m made up for him,” stated Dawes. We were just trying to get him into a position where we could utilise his strengths. He is better when he is higher up the pitch and the idea is to get him higher up and in contact with James Vaughan. Over the last couple of games, it has worked. The players that are attacking the ball for corners and crosses know they can commit when Feeney is crossing,” said Dawes. “They know that, more often than not, the quality is going to be there. When you’ve got that belief that the ball is going to be in the right area, you can attack it properly. Credit to Feeney for the delivery, but Clarke was outstanding again.”
(Quotes taken, as ever, from the club’s official website) ‘https://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/2020/november/dawes-delighted-as-tranmere-secure-back-to-back-wins/’)
With Tranmere next in action on Wednesday night in EFL Trophy action, why not read my piece ‘meeting the opposition’ where I speak to a Wigan fan about his opinions of the states that the two clubs find themselves in.