Writer: Rich Towey
Date:Saturday February 5 2011
A waterlogged pitch prevented Tranmere from bouncing back after the disappointment of Tuesday night`s draw with Rochdale, with the game called off 35 minutes from the end.
Alan Gow gave the visitors the lead on 28 minutes with a well struck effort from outside the box, with Andy Robinson failing to level after missing a penalty at the tail end of the first-half.
Conversations were made soon after the game restarted for the second-half as the rain continued to produce puddles on the pitch, and the whistle blew for the end of the game on 55 minutes.
Just one change was made to the side that were denied of a win in the last minute by Rochdale earlier in the week, with Robinson making his first start for the club following his recent move in place of Dale Jennings on left-wing. Zoumana Bakayogo and Alan Mahon returned from injury to make the bench, whilst Ryan Fraughan and Sam Morrow missed out.
There was an early scare for the visitors in the opening minutes when Rovers keeper Tony Warner managed to direct a long-ball into the path of Enoch Showunmi who rose to flick-on for John Welsh in the County box. The captain set himself up for a shot only for the ball to lose bounce and the chance vanish with the clearance that followed.
The heavy rain at Prenton Park made it hard for either team to really stamp their authority on the game as passes seemed to halt prematurely due to the damp pitch. Ambitious attempts seemed to be the trend therefore, with Welsh`s shot on goal soaring over from 30 yards on the 10 minute mark.
The direction of the game still hadn`t been established midway through the half as both teams would experience false dawns at the edge of the box, but Tranmere almost took advantage of the slow tempo of the game just past the 20 minute mark by quickly clearing the Magpies free-kick. The block fell to Joss Labadie who sprinted towards the halfway line after seeing keeper Stuart Nelson way off his line, only for the attempted chip to barely reach the penalty box.
But as the half chances and miscued efforts reigned in, it was a well struck shot that gave the away side the lead on 28 minutes. A customary long-ball into Rovers` half was picked up by Lee Hughes, who teed up Gow to blast into the top right corner of the goal from 25 yards.
Gow continued to trouble two minutes later with a shot from outside of the area which was sent straight at Warner, with the veteran keeper claiming the strikers low cross soon after.
The Whites were finding it hard to get forward as County pushed forward, but a penalty on 39 minutes gave presented the home side with a golden chance to level after Labadie raced onto Showunmi`s pass into the area, only to have his run halted by a challenge from two defenders, forcing referee Peter Quinn to point to the spot. As much as Rovers fans wanted it to be, Robinson couldn`t seal his dream return as he saw his powerful kick rise over the bar.
To add to the frustration, Ash Taylor`s header narrowly missed the target on 41 minutes in one of the final actions of the half as Les Parry`s side went into the break one down.
Lateef Eford-Alliyu and Robinson made way at half-time for Lucas Akins and Dale Jennings as Rovers switched to 4-4-2, but the big story of the half emerged along with big puddles on the pitch, as a torrential bout of rain presented referee Quinn with a big decision to make at half-time.
The game went on for eight minutes until pass forward that travelled inches by Labadie and a slip by Aaron Cresswell led to a temporary stop in play for officials and manager`s to confer. Both sides argued their case and the game continued for a short period before Quinn decided enough was enough, and abandoned the match on 55 minutes.
Goals: Notts. County- Gow (28)
Tranmere: Warner, Kay, Goodison, McChrystal, Cresswell, Labadie, Taylor, Welsh, Elford-Alliyu (Akins 45 HT), Showunmi, Robinson (Jennings 45 HT). Substitutes not used: Collister, Wood, Bakayogo, Mahon, McGurk.
Notts County: Nelson, Darby, Edwards, Ravenhill, Hughes, Bishop, Pearce, Hawley, Gow, Westcarr, Harley. Substitutes not used: Burch, Thompson, Lee, Cobern, Spicer, Smith, Fox.
Referee: Peter Quinn
Yellow cards: McChrystal (45+1)
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Date:Saturday February 5 2011
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