Tranmere Rovers 1 Port Vale 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 22 November 2003

A 68th minute goal from Iain Hume carried the day for Tranmere in a thriller against Port Vale.

The result was probably tough on the visitors, as John Achterberg was kept busy in the home goal and made several excellent saves.

The Wirral outfit could have gone ahead in the 32nd minute, but a Danny Harrison effort hit the crossbar from close range following a cross by Tyrone Loran.

Achterberg did well to smother an early shot by Billy Paynter and after half time he was at his best to keep out two efforts from live wire striker Stephen McPhee and another from Michael Cummins.

McPhee was then unlucky to hook the ball just over the bar after a terrific run through in the 64th minute.

The only goal, which took Tranmere further away from the relegation zone, stemmed from a through pass by Micky Mellon which defender Sam Collins allowed to pass under his foot.

Hume was onto the ball in a flash and his angled shot went under keeper Jonathan Brain.

Vale tried hard to get back on terms, but Rovers remained resolute in defence.

"I thought we played very well and the boys are bitterly disappointed at the result," said Vale manager Brian Horton.

"It was galling to lose the game due to a basic error by one of our best players. But the side battled and created chances and I cannot ask for more than that." Tranmere manager Brian Little commented:" It was always a tight game but very enjoyable. Vale will feel disappointed to have lost, but naturally we are pleased.

"It was an important victory for us. Our attitude was spot on and we dug in under pressure."

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