Rovers unbeaten away start halted

By Matthew Jones
Last updated : 20 October 2007
Fine shot stopping not enough for Tranmere
A late goal from substitute Barry Corr was enough to earn Swindon the three points at the County Ground this afternoon, as Tranmere's unbeaten start on the road this season came to an end.

Ronnie Moore was forced into one change from the Tranmere side that drew 0-0 with Walsall last week, as an injured Chris Shuker didn't travel with the team, meaning Chris Greenacre returned to the side on the right-wing, whilst Danny Coyne replaced John Achterberg in goal and Antony Kay was preferred in midfield in a 4-5-1 formation over striker Calvin Zola who dropped to the bench. Reserve team captain Paul Henry was also amongst the substitutes for the first time this season.

It was a scrappy opening to the game, and indeed a scrappy first half in general which saw very few clear cut chances for either side.

The first chance fell to Gareth Taylor who sliced wide after good work from Rovers number 12 Steven Jennings on four minutes whilst soon after Taylor was involved again, the striker seeing his shot blocked before Greenacre fired the re-bound well over the bar and against the roof of the stand.

Swindon had their first meaningful effort on 16 minutes as Lee Peacock saw his shot well saved by Coyne, whilst down the other end Chris Greenacre, with back to goal, turned on the ball and sent a curling shot towards goal but saw it saved by 'keeper Smith.

The action though began to more regularly move towards the Tranmere goal. Coyne was again tested from distance by Peacock as the heavily tattooed Swindon number four hit a good shot towards goal, only for Coyne to sprint across his goal mouth and pluck the ball out of the air with a full stretch dive, keeping the scores level.

On 36 minutes, the Peacock was yet again involved, as the former Sheffield Wendesday plaer headed a Christian Roberts cross just wide of Coyne's goal.

Tranmere hadn't made the journey for just a point though, and they were keen to make an impression on the game before the half time whistle. They managed indeed to create their best chance of the game so far, as a Gareth Taylor flick-on was headed towards goal by Carl Tremarco, with only a full length dive and a finger-tip save from Smith keeping the ball out.

Swindon had the final chance of the half however, as after Billy Paynter had successfully negotiated the Tranmere offside trap, the former Port Vale striker closed in on goal and shot but saw the ball well saved by Coyne and rebound away from goal.

Niether side made any half time changes but both looked to push on and get the oh so crucial first goal of the match. Chances again however were few and far between. When either side got forward, there was always a distinct lack of a final ball or that little bit of class which could unlock the defence and get the goal.

The sun came out and shone on the open-air Tranmere end however and only a goal could have made the day any better.

It almost came too, as Shane Sherriff came close to getting his first goal of the season on 57-minutes. Using that well rehearsed free-kick routine, Sherriff broke free of his man and connect with the Paul McLaren free-kick which had drifted over towards the defence towards him. His effort was goalbound too, until pushed away from goal and out for a corner.

Eight minutes later and Rovers had another good chance, with Steven Jennings coming close to opening his account for the season this time as he vollied a cross from Tremarco just wide of the post.

The final twenty minutes however was nearly all played in the Tranmere half of the field as Paul Sturrock's side pushed for the winner.

Peacock shot from distance on 72-minutes and a deflection took the ball just wide of the post as Rovers started to soak up the inevitable pressure the followed from the home side.

Danny Coyne was soon involved in the action again as he made a fantastic save diving down at his near post to deflect the ball out for a corner whilst with twelve minutes remaining Calvin Zola replaced Gareth Taylor upfront.

Tranmere managed to get forward and have one striker however, Antony Kay pushing into the opposition half a striking a fearsome shot from distance, but the swerving effort was straight at Smith who saved comfortably.

The pressure soon ontinued from the Robins however and on 88 minutes, just ten minutes after stepping on to the pitch, Swindon substitute Barry Corr got the inevitable goal which would eventually win the game for the Gloucestershire side.

After the ball had been pinging about in the penalty area for a number of seconds following Tranmere's failure to clear a corner, Corr popped up and struck the ball past Coyne from close range, leaving the Welsh international goalkeeper with no chance as the scoring was opened.

Tranmere hurried to get back in the game, Curran replacing Jennings as Rovers went into a 4-3-3 formation, but ultimately, they couldn't create any chances as a final ball and ideas were lacking.

Rovers probably more so than ever missed Steve Davies today as with Chris Shuker out injured too, the side had no natural wingers in the side. Although Greenacre did a decent job on the wing, if he did get a cross in there was no "Greenacre" on the end to hit home whilst he did lack the pace and trickery that Shuker himself adds.

A defeat brings to an end Rovers 10 match unbeaten run in the league and their unbeaten start on the road in the league, but gives Ronnie Moore a chance to reflect on what went wrong today and, as they say, you learn more from a defeat than a victory.

Jones' Man Of The Match: There were few good performances around the pitch for Tranmere today. Coyne did well in goal, making some good saves in the process whilst Kay looked solid in midfield. The only other player who performance was todays Man of the Match, Ben Chorley, who was excellent defensively again, winning the ball nine times out of ten in the air as well as making some crucial tackles and clearances.

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