Second string pick up away win

By Matthew Jones
Last updated : 26 March 2008
Curran scores second as reserves win
A strong Tranmere Rovers reserve team, including Calvin Zola, John Mullin, Craig Curran, Adnan Ahmed, Mike Jones and captained by Danny Holmes, tonight beat Chester City reserves 2-0 at the Deva Stadium. For Chester, former Rovers 'keeper Phil Palethorpe started in goal and captained the side.

Tranmere opened the scoring very early on through Pakistani international midfielder Adnan Ahmed. Chester failed to clear a corner, and the ball fell to Ahmed who guided the ball into the bottom right hand corner from 20-yards.

Calvin Zola nearly made it two for Rovers soon after as after originally miss controlling the ball in the penalty area, the big centre-forward got a second chance and stabbed an effort goalwards, only for Palethorpe to dive at full-stretch low to his right and palm the ball round the post.

Chester had very little to shout about in the opening 45 minutes, with McWeeney usually a spectator in the Tranmere goal although he did have to make one good save, pushing a low shot round the post for a corner.

At half time, it was 1-0, with a lack of the final ball, mainly from the Tranmere left, being their downfall as they struggled to get the ball into the box for Calvin Zola.

The opening fifteen minutes of the second half saw little action again, but onn the hour mark Terry Gornell replaced Calvin Zola upfront for Tranmere and this was when Rovers really turned the screw. The movement upfront from the strikers was much better, with Gornell and Curran clearly being on the same wavelength.

Each player was able to hold the ball up for the second whilst the movement by either when his strike partner was on the ball was superb.

Ultimately, after the introduction of Gornell it wasn't going to be long until Tranmere got their second goal, and it came around the 70-minute mark.

Michael Jones played a superb one-two with right-back Danny Holmes on the right-wing before sprinting down the touch-line. When Jones got to the goal-line he chipped a magic cross across the six-yard box, from where Craig Curran vollied it home.

After this, each side had chances, with Shane McWeeney in particular making a stunning save in the Tranmere goal as he dived full-stretch to palm away a 20-yard effort which was heading for the top corner, whilst he also came off his line well on a couple of occasions to claim the ball as well as ensuring he kept a clean sheet by making three or four more comfortable saves.

Chester had another chance to reduce their deficit when the ball fell to their man on the edge of the area, he hit it sweetly but could only direct it just over the cross-bar.

At the other end, Tranmere had chances also. Terry Gornell set Curran free on one occasion but only a superb last-ditch tackle from the Chester defender, putting the ball out for a corner, prevented Rovers from getting a third.

Mullin and Gornell also had shots blocked by the Chester defenders, whilst a couple of other good crosses from the right-wing by Jones eventually fell to knowbody and were cleared.

The final chance of the match fell to substitute Dave Wilson for Tranmere, with the winger having replaced Tom Beahon on the left, but he dragged his left-footed shot well wide of the goal.

In the end, Tranmere were just too good for their young Chester opponents. The first half was comfortable for Tranmere, with Chester having few chances, but after the introduction of Terry Gornell, Rovers had a great many more chances and were well worthy of their second goal.

Mike Jones ran the show for Rovers and he put in a brilliant performance, putting in plenty of effort as well as some superb crosses. Curran also worked hard and put in his best reserve performance for some time, with some tidy flicks and great movement off the ball.

Of the other first team players out there, John Mullin put in a solid performance, as did his midfield partner Adnan Ahmed whilst captain Danny Holmes, who is now surely knocking on the door to the first team, put in a good shift at right-back, making some key tackles and interceptions as well as playing a huge role in the second Tranmere goal.

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