Rovers continue goalless league run

By Matthew Jones
Last updated : 24 November 2007
Problems in front of goal as sorry Rovers lose again at Prenton Park
Tranmere Rovers' run without a league goal today stretched to four games after a dissapointing 1-0 home defeat to Swansea City.

Ronnie Moore made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 at Doncaster last weekend, as the suspended Carl Tremarco dropped out of the team along with Adnan Ahmed as new signing Jennison Myrie-Williams made his debut and Andrew Taylor made his first start. Craig Curran and Shane Sherriff returned from suspension to take a place on the bench.

The game started slowly and niether teams saw many clear cut chances in the opening minutes. A strong wind coupled with particularly cold conditions on the Wirral made it difficult for any team to get a hold of the ball as it was so difficult to predict where it was going to end up after the wind had had it's say had the ball been in the air.

Most chances were indeed coming from set-pieces though, with the referee happy to use his whistle as much as possible, for whatever reason, to ensure that he was the one being watched and not the players.

Dennis Lawrence had the first chance as he headed wide from a Swansea free-kick on ten minutes, whilst soon after Rovers had their first real chance as after Paul McLaren's free-kick had bounced loose, Jennings crossed to Goodison who headed the ball down to Kay who's superb goalbound volley was brilliantly saved by Swansea 'keeper de Vries.

Robbie Stockdale came close to a first Tranmere goal on 17 minutes at the right-back won the ball in defence and after running down the line shot from 25-yards but for de Vries to save at his near post.

The next 15-minutes saw nothing of any note happen as the game looked set to be one that wouldn't last long in the memory, and indeed, with a lack of atmosphere from either end of the ground, especially the home end, it is one that most Tranmere fans will not struggle to forget.

Gareth Taylor came close on 32-minutes with a header which de Vries saved brilliantly low down at his right-hand post, only for the Rovers striker to be flagged offside.

Soon after, Tranmere could have had a penalty as Dennis Lawrence appeared to handle the ball after a touch from Shuker, whilst Danny Coyne made a great save from a Marcos Painter shot with 40 minutes on the clock.

The final action of the first half again saw Coyne in action, as the Welsh goalkeeper saved from Paul Anderson's poor free-kick.

The second half was to see Swansea gain the upper hand somewhat, as they had the best of the chances in another dreary period of football.

It wasn't until the 60th minute that a chance was created, but indeed it was a chance from which Tranmere should have scored. Chris Shuker's long ball over the top was run on to by Jennings who, after holding off Monk to get to the ball just inside the penalty area, squared to Greenacre who dissapointingly hit the ball well over the bar with his first touch when he had more time than he allowed for.

Three minutes later, Rovers made their first change of the match as Shane Sherriff replaced debutant Myrie-Williams at left-midfield as Ronnie Moore looked to push for the win.

It was to have a negative effect however, as chances started falling Swansea's way, with Coyne made a good save low down from Scotland's shot on 68-minutes.

Zola soon replaced Taylor with 20-minutes left and the tall striker looked to get into the action straight away as he headed Chris Shuker's deep cross wide at the far post when Rovers had strong claims for a penalty on two occassions, firstly for a trip on Greenacre before Zola appeared to be pushed when jumping for the header.

On 77-minutes, Rovers had another chance after a spell of Swansea pressure, as this time Ian Goodison, only back from Jamaica at lunch time, hit the ball just over the bar from close range after Rovers had won a corner.

On 79-minutes, Leon Britton, fresh on the pitch as a subsitute, saw his shot deflected wide for a corner by Goodison after shooting from the right, before the Welsh team took the lead on 81-minutes.

Andy Robinson was, quite predictably, the man who got the Swansea goal, as after recieving the ball on the Swansea left, the former Rovers man beat Robbie Stockdale on the wing and after breaking into the penalty area, put the ball into the six-yard box where a deflection of Steven Jennings diverted the ball into the bottom corner of Danny Coyne's goal.

From then on, Swansea took control of the game. The arrival of Craig Curran on the pitch, replacing Shuker just before the Swansea goal, was to have no effect on the game as the Rovers striker rarely saw the ball come anywhere near him.

The Jacks had chances to double their lead and only a terrific save from Coyne with his left hand kept the ball out of the net before Rovers pushed forward in the last few minutes of the match.

First Shane Sherriff headed wide before McLaren sent a poor volley well over the bar after some good hold up play by Zola, and then finally, with the last action of the game, Shane Sherriff shot across the goal and wide of the post from 25-yards after breaking with the ball from half way.

At the end of the day though, Tranmere's finishing was simply not good enough in front of goal. Although Ronnie Moore's side once again had very few clear cut chances, there were enough to score atleast one goal, and perhaps Greenacre had the best of these chances.

The defence continues to stand strong though, and as soon as Tranmere click at the other end of the field the goals, especially at Prenton Park, must surely start to come.

Jones' Man of the Match: In all honesty, there are very few candidates for the award from this game. The midfield and attackers were mainly poor whilst the wingers simply didn't get enough balls into the penalty area. The defence was decent yet again though, and despite some good saves from Coyne, the man of the match for this game, in my opinion, was again Antony Kay, who almost scored himself whilst in defence he was cool, calm and collected, making some decent tackles and defensive clearences when under pressure.

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