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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

1-2
20 October 2023 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

REPORT | Tranmere Rovers 1 Rovers 2

20 October 2023

Goals from Harrison Biggins and Mo Faal sent Rovers on their way to a fifth win from seven league matches as they saw off Tranmere Rovers.

Biggins put Rovers in front midway through the first half at a rain-soaked Prenton Park before Faal’s fifth goal of the season doubled the advantage early in the second half.

It was a nervy finish for Rovers after Connor Jennings pulled a goal back for the hosts but they held on superbly for a second away triumph of the campaign.

Grant McCann - who was sent off before the break - made two changes from the side that started the win over Sutton United with Harrison Biggins replacing the injured Tommy Rowe, while Joseph Olowu pulled out in the warm-up with a hip injury, with George Broadbent drafted in.

The game began at a frantic pace with both sides struggling to build sustained possession.

Rovers produced the first opportunity when Ben Close raced into the box to meet a low delivery from Joe Ironside but fired over the bar first time.

It took a vital interception from Tom Nixon to prevent Harvey Saunders from turning in Josh Hawkes’ drilled cross at the back post.

Rovers grew into the game and produced some excellent passing play without finding the killer touch in the final third.

But that changed on 27 minutes with a superb attacking move. Close played a sublime ball out from the middle of the park to send Zain Westbrooke into acres of space on the right of the box. Westbrooke cut the ball back to Biggins who planted his shot into the bottom corner.

The lead could easily have been doubled inside two minutes. Biggins sent Molyneux racing clear but Close saw his shot blocked from the cutback.

Rovers looked dangerous every time they pushed forward, particularly down the right.

But Jones produced a brilliant save to keep Rovers’ noses in front as he got down low on his line to block a bullet header from Harvey Saunders from a free kick, with Nixon hooking the ball away.

Moments later McCann was dismissed having been adjudged to have kicked the ball away.

Rovers were back on the front foot at the start of the second half. Biggins tested the attention of Tranmere keeper Joe Murphy when he smashed a free kick on goal from 25 yards.

And Broadbent kept Murphy on his toes moments later with a low drive from distance to which the keeper was equal, while Molyneux saw a curling effort blocked out by the head of Jordan Turnbull.

The lead was doubled on 57 minutes however. Turnbull failed to make a decisive touch on a defensive header, allowing Faal to nip the ball away and show great composure to dink a shot over Murphy.

Tranmere pulled a goal back on 70 minutes when substitute Rob Apter slipped a ball through to Jennings, who drilled low into the bottom corner from 15 yards.

It sparked a surge from the hosts. Apter fired over the bar as he latched onto a loose ball before Jennings failed to keep a shot of his own down moments later.

Rovers had their backs to the wall for the first sustained period of the game but showed excellent resilience.

In a brief ease in the pressure, Biggins almost caught out Murphy with a shot from the corner of the box that swirled before being batted away by the keeper.

And while Tranmere pushed, they struggled to craft anything of note in the final third as Rovers stuck legs, heads and bodied in the way to hold onto the advantage.

Rovers: Jones, Bailey, Anderson, Nixon, Molyneux, Westbrooke, Close (Degruchy 86), Biggins, Broadbent, Faal, Ironside. Subs not used: Lawlor, Flint, Brown, Sotona, Kuleya, Goodman.

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