Solid Rovers tame Lions

Sherriff and Moore do the business for Tranmere
Tranmere Rovers stretched their unbeaten run to seven games this weekend as they beat a poor Millwall side 2-0 at Prenton Park in Coca-Cola League One.

Ronnie Moore made one change to the side that beat Brighton, with Calvin Zola, who had not overcome a groin strain, replaced in the starting line up by Chris Greenacre whilst Mike Jones was on the bench.

With Walsall already not playing due to the F.A. Cup and then Leeds' game against Doncaster and Carlisle's trip to Crewe getting postponed due to frozen pitches, this was an ideal opportunity for Ronnie Moore's side to push further up the League table and closer to the automatic promotion places.

Surprisingly, it was Millwall who started the better of the two sides as they shot towards their own fans in the first half, just as they had last season.

The first chance fell to Jay Simpson, on loan at the New Den from Arsenal, as he shot from just outside the area after collecting Ian Goodison's clearance, but Danny Coyne was able to save the effort low down.

Coyne was then tested again by former Leyton Orient player Gary Alexander, as the striker broke into the area on the left hand side and curled a good shot towards the far corner of the net, but Coyne was able to dive and produce an excellent one handed save, palming the ball away from goal.

However, with their first chance on ten minutes, Tranmere took the lead. Rovers won a corner on their right after a Greenacre cross was deflected out of play. McLaren took the set-piece and sent it into the six yard box, where it was cleared only as far as Steven Jennings on the edge of the box. Jennings shot towards goal and Shane Sherriff instinctively stuck out a foot, diverting the ball over the goalkeeper and into the top corner.

After the goal, Millwall heads appeared to drop. Tranmere began to see more and more of the ball and when they got the ball, they invariably created chances.

Just two minutes after opening the scoring, Shane Sherriff sent a volley narrowly over the cross-bar from just inside the penalty area before Ian Moore headed another effort just wide of the goal.

On 21-minutes, Rovers came even closer to a second through Paul McLaren. The midfielder recieved the ball 25-yards from goal from Chris Greenacre and unleashed a dipping, swerving effort towards goal, forcing 'keeper Evans into a good save to his left.

Brammer had a shot pushed over by Coyne a few moments later, before Evans made another good save in the Millwall penalty area, reacting quickly to dive to his left and save Moore's header from McLaren's free-kick.

Greenacre came close a few moments later but unfortunatly his powerful shot on the turn was straight at Evans who caught the ball above his head.

With Tranmere still only one ahead though, Millwall were always in with a chance of getting back in the game and Brammer saw his header cleared off the line by Stockdale although a free-kick was awarded to Tranmere for the Millwall player climbing on Antony Kay.

Ten minutes later though, Millwall's resistance was broken as Tranmere scored their second on the stroke of half time, effectively ending Millwall's hopes of winning the game.

Andy Taylor played a quite magnificent ball down the left-wing for striker Ian Moore. The Tranmere number nine ran on to the ball and after beating his man, he brought the ball inside on to his right foot and curled it across goal and into the bottom corner from just inside the area.

The goal, Moore's second since his return to Prenton Park, was his first in a Tranmere shirt on home soil since February 1st 1997 when he scored a 72nd minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Reading.

The goal meant Tranmere went in at the interval comfortably ahead and it made Ronnie Moore's team talk much easier.

The second half however was very much a non event, with Rovers in cruise control and niether side looking to push forward and score.

Greenacre vollied at Evans from Sherriff's cross on 51-minutes whilst on the hour mark, Danny Senda, who scored an own goal against Tranmere for Wycombe at Prenton Park a few years ago, saw his shot saved by Coyne whilst Robinson shot into the Kop soon after from close range.

Soon after, Alexander hit a 25-yard shot wide before Myrie-Williams crossed to Greenacre, only for the striker to see his close range effort saved by Evans.

On 75-minutes Myrie-Williams ran down the right before cutting inside and firing a left-footed shot just wide from 25-yards whilst Sherriff saw an effort deflected wide for a corner before Greenacre vollied high into the Cowshed from close range.

Myrie-Williams and McLaren had chances towards the end of the match, but in all honesty any urgency for a goal had been missing from both teams for quite some time.

The final action of the game saw Rovers replace Chris Greenacre with Craig Curran upfront in the 90th minute.

On the day, Tranmere were simply too good for Millwall. They outclassed a poor side in all departments, breaking them down well in defence and midfield and attacking with purpose, especially in the first half.

Millwall looked a much poorer side to the one Tranmere had played a month a go and Tranmere took advantage of this, getting their fifth win and clean sheet in seven games, moving them above Walsall in to fifth in the table.

Jones' Man Of The Match: For me, there is only one contender, midfielder Paul McLaren. The former Rotherham player was superb, spraying some quite brilliant passes around the park whilst also putting in some useful set pieces, getting from box to box well and defending well.