Shakey defending costs second string

By Matthew Jones
Last updated : 13 February 2008

A strong Tranmere Rovers reserve team was tonight comfortably beaten 4-2 by Blackpool reserves at Prenton Park in the Pontins Holidays Reserves League.

In their starting XI, Shaun Garnett was able to name the likes of Chris Greenacre, Adnan Ahmed, Mike Jones, Craig Curran and John Mullin, who captained the side, whilst triallist Cornell Glen once again started. For the visitors
Blackpool, Kiegan Parker started upfront.

Rovers lined up with a 4-3-3 formation, with Mullin, Ahmed and Jones in midfield, and it was Mullin who came close for Tranmere early on, firstly miss-hitting a close range shot wide at the near post before heading Mike Jones' wonderful cross over from near the penalty spot.

The home side did though break the deadlock with just 13-minutes as Adnan Ahmed netted from near the penalty spot. John Mullin played a superb defence splitting pass to Curran and the attacker cut inside before shooting. His shot was blocked however, Ahmed was on hand with the follow up, netting off the post.

Rovers could have made it 2-0 as firstly Greenacre hit one effort with the outside of his foot curling wide after the ball had broken to him at the edge of the penalty area before he had one left footed shot on the turn saved low down by the Blackpool 'keeper from the edge of the box.

An almighty goalmouth scramble then should have seen Tranmere double their lead, as firstly Curran had a shot saved by the 'keeper before Mullin, Greenacre and Ahmed all had rebounds saved with
Blackpool eventually clearing the ball.

On the half hour mark,
Blackpool equalised, somewhat against the run of play, as Ashton Taylor headed a Kiegan Parker free-kick from the Tranmere left into his own net after Cresswell had made a poor tackle just inside the Rovers half of the field.

From here on in, it was all down hill, as the Tranmere defence crumbled and
Blackpool took advantage of some shocking defensive errors.

Three minutes after their equaliser, the Tangerines took the lead as the unmarked Andy Welsh drifted in at the back post and headed past Peter Kennedy who, despite all his efforts whilst scrambling across his goal, simply couldn't get a strong enough hand on the ball to keep it out.

Just before half-time, some more shocking defending lead to a third Blackpool goal as Kennedy came out of his goal to claim a free-kick but was left in No-mans-land as the ball was flicked over him and into the goal.

At half time, Chris Greenacre was replaced by midfielder Tom Beahon as Rovers switched to a 4-4-2 formation with Beahon moving to left-midfield, but just three minutes into the half Blackpool had got their fourth, giving them a three goal cushion.

The ball bounced around in the Tranmere penalty area with the defence failing to deal with it before it was eventually bundled in.

Tranmere rallied in the last 70-minutes as Craig Curran netted with 18 minutes left on the clock as he headed home Beahon's cross.

This was however the only goal Rovers would score in the half as the home side struggled to open up the
Blackpool defence. Mike Jones was frustrated on a number of occasions as his passes were frequently cut off before they reached their target whilst Cornell Glen and John Mullin often found their paths to goal blocked by the Blackpool defenders.

The closest Tranmere came was through Cornell Glen who twice hit long range efforts over the bar as he tried to impress the watching Rovers manager Ronnie Moore, whilst the score line could have been a lot more for Blackpool had their attackers not strayed offside on a number of occasions in the final 15 minutes with Tranmere pushing forward in search of a goal.

When
Blackpool did beat the offside trap, Kennedy was in the way, with the young goalkeeper making one good save in particular low down to his left late on, pushing a 20-yard shot round the post.

Trending on the boards