Morecambe have half a foot in the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final after beating Tranmere 2-1 at Prenton Park.
Story of the game
The Rovers players walked out of the tunnel to a spartan like roar from the Super White Army for the first time in months and the Tranmere players really used the crowd to their advance in the opening ten minutes. Corey Blackett-Taylor was the driving force in the Rovers attack, forcing corner after corner for the Birkenhead club.
However, against the run of play, it was Morecambe who opened the scoring thanks to a poacher like finish from centre-back Nathanial Knight-Percival on the 15th minute mark. The thirty-four-year-old flung himself to the drilled ball from Cole Stockton and saw his effort slip past the grasp of Joe Murphy in the Tranmere net.
Four minutes later, the home side were level courtesy of a leaping headed effort from veteran centre-half, Peter Clarke. The ex-Preston man attacked an inch perfect cross from Liam Ridehalgh 5 yard from goal and despite Kyle Letheren’s best efforts, the power header trickled over the line to make it honours even.
Once again, against the run of play, Derek Adams’ side made the most of a set-piece opportunity and grabbed their second of the game thanks to a Liam McAlinden strike from point blank range.
Key takeaway from the match
Rovers defensively frail
Tranmere have been hit and miss this season in terms of results but one part of their game that has been consistent is their inability to clear their lines properly from set-pieces.
Time after time the Rovers backline have won the first ball only for it to find an oppositions shirt in a dangerous position.
Derek Adams’ side punished this frailty in Tranmere’s game and bagged two goals against the run of play, both from set-pieces.
If Rovers have any hope of going up, they need to conjure up a plan to turn their defensive fortunes around.
Man of the Match
The ex-Villa man was the big threat from Rovers tonight and despite the score line, his presence in the side will always mean Tranmere have a chance in any game of football. Whether it be Watford of the Premier League last season in the FA Cup or Morecambe tonight, the winger brushes opponents aside with ease down the left flank.
It was a great shock when former manager, Keith Hill opted against using the forward for most games during his tenure but tonight, the twenty-three-year-old showed why he should be the first name on the team sheet for Rovers.