Tranmere Rovers 1-2 Port Vale

By Matthew Jones
Last updated : 13 October 2006
Greenacre goal not enough for Ragged Rovers
A fifth goal of the season for Chris Greenacre was not enough as Ronnie Moore lost his undefeated home record as Tranmere manager, with Tranmere suffering a 2-1 defeat against Port Vale.

Ronnie Moore made one change to the side that drew 0-0 in south Wales against Swansea seven days ago, replacing Carl Tremarco with Ian Goodison, as Shane Sherriff moved to left-back, whilst Mike Jones surrendered his place on the bench to Tremarco.

Rovers started much the brighter, with Greenacre heading wide from a Davies cross and then winger Chris Shuker forcing a good save out of Port Vale's saviour Mark Goodlad in goal.

Richard Walker charged down a Chris Greenacre shot on ten minutes, after good work from Scotland international Robbie Stockdale, whilst eight minutes later, Shuker forced another good save out of Goodlad.

Only minutes later, Ellison forced another good save from Goodlad on the turn from point-blank range as all of Rovers attempts to take the lead were thwarted by he Vale goalkeeper.

Despite the home side having all of the pressure, it was the visitors who took the lead on 31-minutes, infront of the Kop.

Kevin Ellison completely miss hit a free-kick, giving Port Vale the ball when they were under pressure. The Vale attackers carried the ball the full length of the pitch, and after no pressure was put on the advancing Vale players by the Rovers defence, Smith found the bottom corner from 20-yards, leaving Gavin Ward with no chance.

The next action of the game wasn't for another 20 minutes, as Vale doubled their advantage in the fifth minute of injury time. Quite where the referee got five minutes from I'm not sure, but thats how much time was added on.

Substitute Akpo Sodje won a some what questionable free-kick, and Leon Constantine netted from the resulting set-piece after Rovers had failed to clear the ball.

The second half was all Rovers, as Ronnie Moore's men piled on the pressure in a search for two or more goals.

Chris Shuker had the first chance of the half, with his shot getting deflected out over the bar for a corner, whilst three minutes later, Goodlad made his best of a string of good saves, magnificently tipping a John Mullin header on to the bar.

Rovers managed to grab one back on 57-minutes, with Chris Greenacre getting his fifth of the season. Stockdale chipped the ball up to John Mullin who flicked the ball on to the former Stoke striker. Greenacre carried the ball round the keeper and walked the ball into the net to pull Ronnie Moore's boys back into the game.

Steve Davies saw some brilliant crosses flash straight across the penalty area, as there was knowbody in the box anticipating the pull-back, whilst John Mullin and Kevin Ellison both missed good chances to level the game.

With just a minute or so left, after a good passing move down the right, the ball was whipped in by Greenacre but only for John Mullin to head wide, whilst Goodlad pulled off his final brilliant save minutes later, pushing Ellison's shot round the post when he must surely have been unsighted until late.

Overall, Ronnie Moore must be dissapointed with Rovers first half performance and the way at which the players let their heads drop when they conceeded the first goal.

He has a big dillema now ahead of Bury, as he must ask himself does he give some of the fringe players a run out in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, or does he keep the same team out in a hope they can earn a win and some confidence ahead of Carlisle away in eight days time.

Jones' Man Of The Match: Whilst Chris Greenacre was outstanding in the second half, there was one clear candidate for the award in my opinion. Through-out the game, Paul McLaren was absolutely superb, as he stopped Port Vale attacking on numerous occassions and then started Rovers attacking themselves.

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