Writer: Rich Towey
Date:Saturday March 19 2011
A fantastic defensive display from the Rovers defence saw Les Parry`s side claim a clean sheet and their first win in seven games against Colchester at Prenton Park.
Enoch Showunmi`s second-half goal proved to be the difference between the two sides, with two clearances off the line keeping the visitors at bay in a game that spawned very few chances.
Just the one change was made to the side that lined-up at Brighton last Saturday, with Dale Jennings returning from injury to start his first game since early February in place of Zoumana Bakayogo as Rovers switched back to 4-3-3.
The visitors dominated the first few minutes with some slick passing, and it wasn`t long until Tony Warner was forced into making his first save of the afternoon from an Anthony Wordsworth`s volley that was bound for the bottom corner.
But Rovers managed to weather the storm and produce a chance of their own minutes later. Aaron Cresswell found himself in space on the right to swing in a cross that just evaded the head of Ian Goodison, who was inches away from nodding in for the lead. Goodison`s second attempt came straight after the clearance with a shot that was saved on the line by Colchester keeper Ben Williams.
Andy Robinson and Robbie Weir then started to get into the game with some impressive long-balls and runs from the centre of midfield, but Jennings was kept quiet on the left-hand side as Rovers looked for a spark in the final third.
As the game approached the 25 minute mark the Whites started to push on. Lucas Akins run and low shot was blocked out for a corner which eventually gave his side a free-kick in a promising position. With Cresswell, Weir and Jennings all over the ball, it was the returning winger who hit a powerful shot that deflected just over the bar as Rovers continued to look for their opener.
The closest Parry`s side came to grabbing a goal in the first-half came in the form of a Cresswell free-kick inside the U`s half that looped over all the men in box on its way to hitting the left hand post with Williams planted.
Weir tried his luck from range as the game went into stoppage time, but the ball curled wide and the teams went down the tunnel with the scores level.
Robinson was the key man for Rovers at the start of the second-half. The midfielder ran on to a through-ball from Akins to flash a shot over the bar in the first minute of play, but he wasn`t to be kept down for long. The former Leeds man turned on the halfway -line to face four defenders before putting a pass straight through the men into the path of Showunmi to go one-on-one with Williams. Clinical as always, the target man steadied himself and placed his finish past the keeper for his 11th goal of the season.
John Welsh almost added a second inside the area with a header that just went wide of the near post, but it needed a Goodison clearance from off the goal line to deny Kayode Odejayi of grabbing a quick equaliser straight after.
Deciding not to take any risks, after a flurry of half-chances from the visitors, Bakayogo came on for Jennings as Tranmere set themselves up to defend their lead. Soon after, Rovers last line of defence was called into action again when Andy Bond`s shot from Lloyd James` corner needed a clearance off line from Cresswell to keep his side in the lead.
Some more last ditch defending from Tranmere saw the scoreline still intact with the game going into the last ten minutes, but there didn`t seem much urgency about away side as the Whites dealt with everything coming their way.
In fact, the last chance of the game fell to Joss Labadie, who found space outside the area to fire just wide of the far post just before the whistle sounded for full-time.
Goals: Tranmere- Showunmi (53)
Tranmere: Warner, Kay, Goodison, McChrystal, Cresswell, Weir, Welsh, Robinson (Taylor 86), Akins (Labadie 73) Showunmi, Jennings (Bakayogo 63). Substitutes not used: Collister, Blanchard, Taylor, Mahon, McGurk.
Colchester: Williams, Clarke, Vincent (Henderson 83), Odejayi, Perkins, Gillespie, Wilson, Wordsworth (Bond 69), Coker, James (O`Toole 84), Smith. Substitutes not used: O'Toole, Izzet, Cousins, Bond, Henderson, White, Heath.
Referee: Andy Woolmer
Yellow cards: Welsh (31), Kay (37), Wordsworth (59)
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Date:Saturday March 19 2011
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