Tranmere Rovers eased past Grimbsy Town by 5-0 at Prenton Park and are now, despite their slow start, two point off the Sky Bet League Two play-off places.
Story of the game
Tranmere were right in Grimsby’s faces from the off and looked a shadow of the side who started the season under the management of Michael Jackson, showcasing a high press, attacking minded style of play that fans have been crying out for since James Norwood departed the club in the summer of 2019.
Caretaker manager, Ian Dawes, didn’t have to wait long before his side got their first goal of the afternoon as a Callum MacDonald cross was expertly glanced home by James Vaughan to grab his 7th goal of the season.
Just shy of the half hour mark, Tranmere doubled their lead as Peter Clarke was able to lose his marker in the crowded penalty area and rise the highest to head Liam Feeney’s corner past James McKeown in the Grimsby net.
Straight from kick-off Tranmere again forced Grimsby into giving up possession and found Corey Blackett-Taylor with a sea of green in front of him but a reckless challenge from Danny Rose inside the box gave referee Marc Edwards no choice other than to point to the spot.
Mr. Reliable in front of goal, James Vaughan, stepped up and drilled his spot kick down the middle to give Tranmere an unassailable lead and bag his 8th goal of the league campaign.
Five minutes prior to the interval things went from bad to worse for The Mariners as Otis Khan showcased superb close control, beat three Grimsby men and fired a cannon from 18-yards into the botom right hand corner to make it 4-0.
Tranmere took their foot off the gas in the second period, showcasing brilliant game management but substitute Paul Lewis couldn't help himself five minutes from time as Grimsby stood off him and allowed the midfielder to fire an effort from range which nestled into the top corner to make it five goals without reply.
- Key takeaways from the match
Tranmere mean business
Under the management of Michael Jackson, Tranmere looked scared and frail regardless of the opponent they faced but under Ian Dawes, the Super Whites look like a side more than capable of promotion this season.
Mark Palios is yet to announce a new permanent manager, but surly Ian Dawes’ name must be at the very top of the list after winning all five of his games in caretaker charge.
James Vaughan’s on fire!
The journeyman now has eight goals in 13 league games this season and despite being in the twilight years of his career, the Birmingham-born forward shows no signs of stopping.
Tranmere were able to get promotion in their first campaign back in League Two in 2019 as James Norwood’s goals fired Rovers to Wembley glory and in Vaughan, Rovers have a forward who can do just that.
Whether it be a one-on-one, a penalty or a header, the ex-Everton man has shown he is more than capable of scoring all sorts of goals in this division.
Man of the Match
Corey Blackett-Taylor (Tranmere Rovers)
Blackett-Taylor had the beating of Grimsby full-back Luke Hendrie all afternoon and showcased exactly why many of League One’s top clubs were interested in acquiring his services in the summer.
The ex-Villa man possess so much power and pace down the left flank that on his day he would cause danger to any full back in the EFL.
Under the coaching of Ian Dawes, should he be able to work on his ability in front of goal, Blackett-Taylor could go to the very top and will no doubt be one of the most important players for Tranmere this season.
What's next for Tranmere?
Tranmere host high-flying Carlisle United at Prenton Park on Tuesday evening as they look to continue their fine run of form ahead of the festive run-in which sees them having to play ten games before the new year.
What's next for Grimsby?
Ian Holloway’s side make the trip West Sussex on Tuesday evening as they face promotion chasing Crawley Town. The Mariners enter the tie without a win in their previous four games, a worrying statistic for fans which is made even worse when considering they have to face three of the top 7 before mid-December.