Rovers Regain Top Spot

By Matthew Jones
Last updated : 26 October 2007
Another for Taylor as Rovers beat the Terriers
Tranmere Rovers comfortably regained top spot in Coca-Cola League One tonight at the expense of Leyton Orient as they beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 at Prenton Park.

Ronnie Moore made two changes to the side that lost 1-0 at Swindon, as Mike Jones and new loan signing Kevin Cooper started in place of Carl Tremarco and Steven Jennings, with Antony Kay retaining his place in midfield and Tranmere switching to a 4-4-2 formation with Greenacre and Taylor upfront. There was once again a place on the bench for Paul Henry with Chris Shuker still out injured.

The first chance fell to Paul McLaren for Rovers who flashed a shot wide and over from distance following good work from new signing Cooper but chances were few and far between.

The tempo was down with niether team able to build any real momentum going forward. Attacks quickly broke down, partly due to good defending but mainly due to sloppy passing as both teams struggled to keep hold of the ball.

Indeed, the next real chance didn't come until around the 25 minute mark and it once again fell to Tranmere. After good work down the middle from Mike Jones, the winger played a brilliant ball inside to Greenacre who had found space in side the penalty area. Rovers' leading scorer took once touch, clearing the ball from under his feet, before shooting across goal but the ball just rolled wide of the post with the Huddersfield players certain Greenacre was offside.

Town also had a chance themselves though, as a break down the right saw a cross come into the box, and with a Town attacker threatened, Coyne dived brilliantly to punch the ball clear.

Four minutes later however the deadlock was broken as Rovers scored the first goal in a home match since the end of August.

A Tranmere free-kick was cleared as far as Ian Goodison who "hoofed" the ball back into the danger area. Nathan Clarke tried to clear the ball but only succeeded in heading as far as McLaren who vollied the ball into the bottom left-hand corner, scoring his first goal since January.

The game now became more open and with one goal behind them, Tranmere's football dramatically improved. Their passing was much quicker and better than it had been for a number of games as they searched for a second before half-time.

Kay came close, as he surged through the Town defence from the half-way line before shooting for 25-yards only for Glennon to save and then pounce on the loose ball.

With the half drawing to a close, Tranmere had their best chance to double the score yet. After some good build up play down the right, Cooper found McLaren who in turn passed on to Greenacre. The striker hit the ball first-time and with it heading towards the top-left corner, Glennon pulled off a magnificent one handed save, palming the ball over for a corner.

As the half moved into injury time, Coyne was called into action, saving from Kamara after the Welsh international had badly miss-kicked a clearance whilst Taylor shot wide for Rovers.

The second half started brilliantly for Rovers, as McLaren came close to doubling his and Rovers' goal tally for the night. Cooper crossed from the left and McLaren vollied towards the bottom right from six yards at the near post, only for Glennon to pull off another terrific save, reacting brilliantly to deflect the ball out with his right-foot.

Six minutes later, Tranmere did have their goal however, as on 53 minutes Shane Sherriff got his first goal of the season to make it 2-0.

Rovers won a corner through Jones and McLaren floated the ball in towards the near post. Glennon miss-judged the flight of the ball as he came to punch, but with the ball flicking off the head of a Huddersfield defender, it fell nicely for the unmarked Sherriff at the back post who had the simple job of heading home from no more than two yards.

Four minutes later Tranmere all most got a third. More good build up play down the right saw Stockdale find Jones and the winger managed to get to the bye line before sending in a great cross to Greenacre. With his back to goal, Greenacre un-selfishly squared the ball to Kay, running in from midfield, who blasted the ball over.

Huddersfield could have got back in it not long after the hour mark as Luke Beckett run through on goal, but a brilliant tackle from Ian Goodison kept the Tranmere goal safe as the defender came in from behind and made an inch perfect tackle. If anything had gone wrong, the defender would have been given is marching orders.

A minute later, Coyne made another good but comfortable save as he held Ronnie Wallwork's free-kick under his cross-bar whilst another Town move broke down thanks to the brilliance of Goodison soon after, the defender this time disspossessing Schofield on the left.

On 73-minutes, Schofield managed to find some space about 25-yards from goal and shot just over Coyne's cross-bar, with some Town fans questioning whether the 'keeper had helped the ball on it's way over the bar, whilst Beckett sent another header wide with the goal gaping soon after.

Shortly after Greenacre had vollied over and Tremarco had replaced the tiring Cooper, Tranmere got a well deserved third, Taylor with his third of the season.

Rovers won another corner which was once again floated in by McLaren. For the second time in the match, the delivery was perfect, as Gareth Taylor rose at the near post and sent the ball home to make it three.

With three minutes left, Craig Curran replaced Greenacre and some might question whilst Paul Henry wasn't given a debut but in the end it was a vital and confidence boosting three points for Tranmere.

The result also, is Tranmere's first win by three clear goals since they defeated Leyton Orient at Prenton Park last season on September 2nd, a game made famous for Gavin Ward's "one in a million" goal.

After the first goal, the looked a completely different team to the one that has played the last two game against Walsall and Swindon. Chances were created and Rovers constantly threatened in attack whilst the defence was, for the fourth match running, excellent.

Tranmere now move on though to a very important match at the City Ground where they take on Nottingham Forest next week, a game which is sure to be crucial in the promotion race.

Jones' Man Of The Match: There were strong performances through-out the Tranmere side, with Jones, McLaren and Kay all looking good in midfield. Ian Goodison was excellent in defence too, making some excellent tackles, although my Man Of The Match was Gareth Taylor. The tall striker was on song again, as he scored a great goal whilst his general hold up play and all round game was once again magnificent.

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