Tranmere v Gillingham : Match Report

Yet again, Tranmere’s ‘never say die’ attitude was evident in a 2-2 draw with Gillingham. 

The hosts fielded an unchanged side which drew 1-1 in the previous fixture in an away tie at Rotherham. However, the visitors fielded a side of many changes from their football league trophy home defeat to Colchester midweek.

Tranmere started the strongest, with many creative attacks. The earliest strong goal opportunity came when Mullin smashed the ball onto the post in the 6th minute. 

However, the visitors soon found themselves ahead. Davies doing well to keep out an initial attempt from a corner but a further attempt was formed as the ball was dropped to Jakubiak who stood 2 yards from the goal line, who Tranmere’s website claimed as the one to watch.

Soon after, Davies greatly kept the score-line narrow with a double save after Morris loosely passed the ball from the halfway line straight into the attacking path of Mandron.

Tranmere were in the hunt for a goal as they sprayed a few crosses across Gillingham’s defensive box. Unfortunately, the final result was Connor Jennings’ volley which found itself placed ages from the crossbar. The hosts had a further few attempts on goal, yet couldn’t find the back of the net.

As the 35th minute arrived, the visitors found themselves 2-0 ahead. Davies dropping another cross ,from a deep position which looked to be going on target, into the path of Jones who rebounded into the empty net. 

At half time, Kieron Morris and Sid Nelson were replaced by Ollie Banks and Callum Woods as the hosts looked to narrow the scoreline.

Tranmere’s attacking intent grew as they had 4 good attempts on goal in the earlier moments of the second half. The best being Jennings’ one on one attempt which Bonham saved with his feet. 

On the stroke of the 64th minute, Tranmere were awarded a penalty. Paul Mullin struck a penalty into the bottom corner. However, Bonham miraculously saved it. Tranmere’s attacking intent still grew despite the lack of fortune they had previously endured. 

Straight after the penalty miss, Tranmere’s attackers spread the ball around the opponents box. Connor Jennings soon prodded the ball ‘home’ from six yards. Tranmere were looking for a result.

The scoreline was soon even when Paul Mullin hammered the ball into the roof of the net. Emotions were completely different than his penalty miss a few minutes before. Micky Mellon, Tranmere manager, rallied the Kop which had been in support of their players all game. 

The game soon came to the settlement of a 2-2 draw which was an incredible turnaround to the score many had feared at half time.

In his post match interview, Micky Mellon praised his players as they kept the ‘never say die’ attitude used to gain a last minute equalizer in the game before. However, was of the hope that the games would soon be in their favour from the start to finish. Micky Mellon also praised the home faithful who had rallied their players from a 2-0 losing position to a draw.


Gillingham are the visitors to Prenton Park this coming Saturday. Tranmere will be looking to add to their proud away performance in which Stefan Payne scored the equaliser in the dying seconds. They will be of the belief that a proud result will be able to achieve as Gillingham haven’t registered a win ‘on the road’ since their visit to Bloomfield road in May. 

Gillingham Football Club ‘The Gills’ play their football at Prestfield which has a capacity of 11,600 and has been the only home venue of the clubs proud history. This season, ‘The Gills’ have not managed to register a win from any fixture ‘on the road’. However, their results this season have showed that they are of great misfortune. Losing their carabao cup place on penalties away at Newport County and conceding two goals in quick succession against Burton. On Tuesday night, Colchester visited the Prestfield stadium in the ‘ trophy’. Gillingham were defeated 3-2 yet continued to fight into the final minutes where their attempts to clinch a draw where either blocked or misplaced. Gillingham will be hoping to follow up their home loss to Colchester with a proud result at Prenton Park. Gillingham have provided no team news for Saturdays fixture where Tranmere’s website has claimed the opponents forward , 23 year old Jakubiak, to be the visitors ‘one to watch’.

Tranmere Rovers Football Club ‘The super whites’ come into this fixture following a great performance ‘on the road’ where Stefan Payne clinched an injury time equalizer. Micky Mellon’s side will be hoping to add another home fixture win as in their last home fixture they beat Bolton 5-0 with a very strong performance. The two positives Tranmere can take into the game this Saturday, is that the home support will be ‘bouncing’ due to the new foreign investment announced earlier in the week. Also, Gillingham will be making the mammoth 260 miles trip to Merseyside after the tough midweek encounter with Colchester . Thus, Gillingham’s players shall be of minor fatigue. Ollie Banks will be available for this Saturdays fixture, coming back from a suspension awarded at the memorial stadium. Also, new signing Cameron Borthwick-Jackson will be available to the side after his loan spell at Tranmere was announced mid week. However, Tranmere will be without players : Ferrier (8 weeks with knee injury sustained in training), Blackett Taylor (suspension), Caprice (ankle), Ellis (Knee), Gumbs (ACL), Miller (Hamstring), Kane Wilson (knee).

During the week, Gillingham announced the signing of midfielder Ben Pringle. Last season, Pringle helped Tranmere to achieve promotion during his Loan spell at the club. Thus, Tranmere supporters shall greet Pringle with a warm reception on Saturday as he returns to Prenton Park. 

Predicted line ups:

Gillingham (4/3/3) – Bonham, Fuller, Ehmer, Ogilive, O’Connor, Willock, Byrne, Lee, Pringle, Jakubiak, Hanlan.

Tranmere (5/3/2) – Davies, Borthwick Jackson, Monthe, Ray, Nelson, Morris, Perkins, Potter, Jennings, Mullin, Payne.

Tranmere Rovers FC : ‘The Team that never sleep’

Tranmere manager Micky Mellon made four enforced changes to his starting line-up from the Bristol Rovers fixture, with Sid Nelson, Darren Potter, Paul Mullin and Payne coming into the side in South Yorkshire.

Tranmere goalkeeper , and captain, Scott Davies was called into action with eight minutes played when Michael Smith’s deep cross from the right found Clark Robertson who saw his downward header easily gathered by the Rovers captain.

Up the other end on 18 minutes, Tranmere threatened through midfielder Kieron Morris after he received Connor Jennings’ neat pass, to cut inside on his left-foot from the right to force Millers stopper Daniel Iversen into a low save down to his left.

As the first half progressed on a sun-kissed afternoon, Rovers dealt with their hosts well, with Dan Barlaser’s free-kick from 25-yards blocked by the wall.

TRFC then had claims for a penalty waved away by referee Andy Haines in the closing five minutes of the opening period after Mullin played Morris in down the right, with his cross blocked and protests waved away.

Tranmere would survive a scare moments later, with Wiles’ effort inside the penalty area bouncing off the base of the post from Davies’ initial parry.

After the break, Rotherham substitute Chiedozie Ogbene galloped down the left before flashing the ball across goal, with Rovers’ full-back Liam Ridehalgh doing well to head behind for a corner.

Roared on by 982 of the SWA who had made the journey over the Pennines, Tranmere almost went ahead 12 minutes into the second half as Mullin found space on the right-side of the box and forced Iversen to tip his right-footed strike over the crossbar.

On the hour mark of an even contest, Paul Warne’s men were close at goal again but after connecting with Ogbene’s flighted cross from the left, he couldn’t keep his close-range volley down.

Rovers’ forward Jennings then spurned an inviting opportunity, using the outside of his boot to curl wide when well positioned after being fed by Mullin.

With 72 minutes gone, Rotherham were in front courtesy of Wiles, who pounced on a loose ball inside the six-yard box to steer right-footed past Davies into the top right corner after Matt Olosunde’s cross.

Tranmere were very close to levelling six minutes after conceding when Potter’s strike across goal took a deflection which missed the diving header of Payne.

From the resulting corner, Nelson met Morris’ left-sided set-piece though his header was fumbled by Iversen, with Payne’s goal-bound effort thwarted by Crooks.

However, in the last minute of stoppage time Tranmere’s good fortune finally came into place. When their persistence was rewarded when Stefan Payne bundled in past Iversen to secure a deserved point and send pandemonium across the away stand.

During the post match interview Mellon praised the ‘fantastic away following’ which ‘deserved a point for its none stop backing’. He was also pleased with his sides performance which hold its own in a very ‘physical and demanding fixture’. However, he confessed Tranmere had another injury blow : ‘Wilson has returned to West Brom as he picked up a knee injury in training’.

Match Preview : Rotherham United v Tranmere Rovers


Tranmere face Rotherham at the New York Stadium this coming Saturday. They will be looking to gain their first set of points ‘on the road’ since the fixture against Colchester in March where ‘Tequilla’ made its proud debut. However, it will be incredibly difficult as last season Rotherham competed in the second tier of the English footballing pyramid . However, they finished the season placed 22nd meaning their relegation demise was confirmed.

Rotherham United Football Club ‘The millers’ play their football at the New York stadium which has a capacity of 12,000 and was opened before the 2012/13 season commenced. This season, ‘The Millers’ have not managed to register a point from any home fixture. In fact, the only fixture where Rotherham have managed to gain points from was the opening day fixture at the Cherry red records stadium in south London. Goals from Ladapo and Robertson meant Rotherham were the victorious visitors. Thus, Micky Mellon’s side will be of the hope that they can extend Rotherham’s winless run. Rotherham have provided no team news for this saturday’s fixture.

Tranmere Rovers Football Club ‘The super whites’ have not had the best of starts to the season. They have lost all bar one of their opening fixtures and picked up three red cards, two coming in the previous encounter at Bristol Rovers’ Memorial stadium. The two positives Tranmere can take into the game this Saturday, is that the following supporters will make their away section as intimidating as possible with around 700 supporters travelling from Merseyside. Also, Rotherham were held to a 100 minutes home tie against Sheffield Wednesday in the caraboa cup where they conceded a ‘soccer punch’ when Nuhiu netted in the last minute of added time. Thus, Rotherham’s players shall be of minor fatigue. Tranmere will be without players : Ferrier (8 weeks with knee injury sustained in training), Ollie Banks (suspension), Blackett Taylor (suspension), Caprice (ankle), Ellis (Knee), Gumbs (ACL), Miller (Hamstring).

There is a pivotal man in the history of Rotherham United and Tranmere Rovers, who has managed both clubs. Ronnie Moore . Ronnie Moore had two spells at Tranmere as a player, scoring 78 goals in 324 games. In between them spells, he played for Rotherham United where he scored 52 goals in 125 games. He soon transformed his role from goal scorer to manager and since then he has had two managerial spells at Tranmere in league one. In 2014 it was confirmed that Ronnie Moore would leave the club, due to betting offences. He also had two spells at Rotherham United as manager.

Predicted line ups:

Rotherham (4/3/3) – Iversen, Robertson, Wood, Ihiekwe, Olosunde, Crooks, Barlasser, Wiles, Ladapo, Vassel, Smith. 

Tranmere (4/2/1/3) – Davies, Ridehalgh, Monthe, Ray, Wilson, Perkins, Potter, Jennings, Mullin, Payne, Morris. 

The Demise of Bury FC

Bury FC, a beautifully historic football league club. Two times FA Cup winners and the only club to score 1,000 goals in each of the four English professional tiers. Yet the unfortunate victims of disastrous ownership through Stewart Day and Steve Dale and the victims of collapsing business’. On the 27th August 2019, months without payment for all involved at the football club, Bury’s doomed fate was confirmed : Bury FC to be expelled from the football league. This piece explores the two men who destroyed a once proud football town. 

In 2013, Stewart Day was announced as the new owner of Bury Football Club. This can be seen as the start of a proud clubs demise to what is effectively football depression. Day was a 31 year old property entrepreneur who built up a ‘successful’ business specialising in the building of student accommodation and development sites throughout Lancashire and Yorkshire. The money which Day received through this would be spent on Bury FC. However, his company, Mederco, soon collapsed due to administration which left a reported £150million owned to lenders, creditors and hundreds of unfortunate investors who had paid deposits on the exchange of units. This was the earliest sign that Day was truthfully not much of a ‘successful businessman’. This meant that his ownership of Bury FC was being destroyed as he had previously granted the clubs footballers huge contracts which matched his ambition to strive upwards of the football tiers. Stewart Day blamed national difficulties such as Brexit and national tragedies such as the Grenfell Tower for the struggles both subjects placed on entrepreneurship. Brexit placed a difficulty for European students to attend English universities. The cladding on the Grenfell Tower led to major problems for two of the company’s near completed blocks in Huddersfield. To help the football club earn money, Day decided to sell Gigg Lane’s car park spaces at £10,000 each, he proposed the idea of developing facilities/hosting events or building a new stadium in this location. Although the idea never rose to fruition, the money earned promised a 9% net yield from annual rents for 24 years. Day’s struggles with Mederco worsened as investors called for a serious fraud office investigation into how the schemes were marketed and how the money was actually spent. However, Day insisted he had done nothing wrong and was merely a victim of Lendy’s collapse ‘I’ve never wanted to lose anyone’s money’.  

Due to Mederco’s failings of administration ,meaning people involved with Bury FC weren’t getting paid, Stewart Day could do nothing other than place the football club cheaply up for sale. 

In December 2018, businessman Steve Dale became owner of Bury Football Club through the purchase of £1. However, Bury’s future fate had happened to many of Dale’s business’ previously. It is known that 43 of Dale’s 51 previous business associations have been liquidated. This was extremely concerning to supporters especially due to the ‘brassic’ state the club had been left in by Stewart Day. The EFL soon admitted that they didn’t put Dale through usual process’ of due diligence as the club’s future was under threat.

At the time of purchasing the football club, Dale knew of the difficulty that was ahead for his already struggling status. He told BBC Radio Manchester ‘We’re not magicians, the club is in a mess’. Yet promised ‘We will turn it around’ this left the supporters with a minor sense of satisfaction but with a major sense of hope and optimism. Steve Dale initially wanted to be liked.

Due to the disastrous state the football club was in when Dale took over, his purchase was effectively business suicide and certainly an impossible job. 

He started with the ambition to stabilise Bury and with the wanted representation of a good businessman who put the club before his personal greed. He claimed he was ‘a community man’ and to satisfy fans he claimed ‘The club will not close’. He also had an ambition to ‘Build at carrington’ which was a horrendous statement considering the lack of money available for wages throughout the club.

However, as he realised the difficulty of the task ahead : to stabilise the football club, his demise became noticeable. Quotes he had previously said turned out to be of no visible relevance. The community he had once exclaimed to be supporting was turned against him as their football clubs future looked bleak. Months had passed without wages being fulfilled, for everyone involved with the football club and as fixtures were getting postponed, fans discontent grew.

He soon became determined to sell the club. However, for his personal gain he placed a selling price of £2million. This would’ve been more importantly spent on the club instead of feeding the greed for wealth.

Steve Dale started to make media appearances, in the attempt to make other businessmen feel sorry for his current project in the hope his £2million asking price would be met. The more well known media appearance was on ‘talksport’. Stephen Dawson, Footballer of Bury, joined Dale for the show. Steve Dale argued with Dawson that he was getting paid albeit ‘50% from the PFA’. This showed that Steve Dale wasn’t using his personal wealth for the club which disproved his quote in that he was in fact ‘placing my own money into the club’. Stephen Dawson admitted that he was facing the prospect of losing his home, this further emphasised how disastrous the state of the football club was in. 

Steve Dale was now an unwanted man, effectively an illness to the club and its very near future.

Steve Dale made no further progress in gaining the £2million he wanted to sell the club. This meant the EFL had no further choice but to unfortunately expell the football club from the football league. Which was majorly due to the supporters discontent as Bolton had been given a 14 day extension to find their next owners.

Footballers such as Neil Danns, Bury Captain, hit out at Steve Dale as news broke out. Danns claimed Steve Dale ‘literally destroyed lives’ as he understood the enormity of Bury FC to the whole community. Former Bury footballer, Nicky Adams also hit out at Steve Dale labelling him as a ‘rat scumbag who isn’t a real man’. Due to Dale’s inability of selling the club to owners where money would’ve been more wisely placed.

This whole case for Bury Football Club shows how little the EFL does for football clubs such as Bury as checks should’ve been took to ensure the football club and community was safe and had the correct money and ideas to stabilise and return to its proud status. I as well as many other football supporters should wish Bury FC well in the following events and that the football league status returns to the town in greater Manchester.