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Match Reports

Town 0 - 1 Tranmere Rovers - Town fall to late defeat

3 November 2020

Match Reports

Town 0 - 1 Tranmere Rovers - Town fall to late defeat

3 November 2020

A 79th minute strike from substitute Otis Khan consigned Town to a 1-0 home defeat to managerless Tranmere Rovers.

The goal was enough to separate the two sides in a game that was looking to be heading for a goalless draw until Khan struck with almost his first touch.

Simon Weaver was forced to make one change to the side that started against Newport last Saturday. Connor Kirby replaced Josh Falkingham in midfield with Warren Burrell taking the captains armband.

Rovers, who came into the game on the back of four defeats in five games and having failed to score in each, were without the injured Mark Ellis, Stefan Payne and Morgan Ferrier.

But it was the visitors who almost took an immediate lead when a misplaced Kirby pace set Corey Blackett-Taylor free, but he blazed his shot well over the bar.

Town were often deep into Rovers territory in the early stages, although with little output to show for their territorial advantage aside from Connor Hall's goal bound header from Dan Jones' long throw that was well cleared.

The visitors arguably possessed more of a threat though with the lively Blackett-Taylor and Liam Feeney pressuring the back line. It was Feeney who break down the left on the half hour to get a cross that flashed beyond everyone to safety.

And Rovers would come closest in the first half when on the stroke of half-time James Vaughan seized on an opportunity to put himself one on one with James Belshaw but could only see his effort come back off the post with Town's keeper well beaten.

The opening stages of the second half saw a role reversal of the first 45 minutes with Town this time under the cosh, with some determined defending required to keep Rovers at bay.

The first booking of the evening saw Kirby carded for a reckless challenge and with the game drifting towards a stalemate both managers made a double change with Tom Walker and Jon Stead replacing Brendan Kiernan and Aaron Martin for Town, whilst Rovers brought on Khan and Kainye Woolery for Kieron Morris and Blackett-Taylor.

The moves paid instant dividends for the visitors when Khan calmly slotted home after Feeney's cross was deflected perfectly into his path.

There was a worrying moment soon after when the games was stopped for several minutes after Will Smith fell awkwardly after challenging for the ball. Smith was stretchered off to applause from both sets of players and replaced by Kevin Lokko.

After the lengthy break Rovers were able to hold firm and quash any hopes of a late Town comeback to secure their first away win of the season.

Town: Belshaw, Burrell, Jones, Smith (Lokko 93), Hall, Thomson, Kirby, Kerry, Kiernan (Walker, 70), Martin (Stead, 75), Muldoon.

Subs not used: Cracknell, Emmett, Beck.

Booked: Kirby (58)

Tranmere: Davies, O'Connor, Clarke, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Spearing, Lewis, Feeney, Morris (Khan, 75), Blackett-Taylor (Woolery, 75), Vaughan.

Subs not used: Nelson, Murphy, MacDonald, Banks, Smith.

Goals: Khan (79)

Booked: Monthe (66)

Referee: Ross Joyce.

Report by Danny Pugsley.

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