Every goal conceded brings with it an inquest, of sorts, and it was no different after the game at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon when manager Paul Simpson talked about the Tranmere strikes that had made it such a tight affair.
“I was actually quite comfortable in those first 15 minutes, without us having really created any chances,” he said. “I thought we did ok and we were moving the ball well.
“Omari got himself into a really good position, tried to play it wide when it wasn’t on to do it, their lad gets a block, and they’re able to go down our end.
“Whether it’s a misunderstanding or we get caught up with an overload on the right, and it’s a good ball in and a good finish from their guy. If we’d been a bit cleaner with our possession in their final third it might not have got to that.
“The second one’s a scruffy goal, horrible one to concede. Me and Gav were sitting on the bench talking about changes to make for us to go and have a go, be a bit more positive, but we said we can’t go gung ho because there was definitely going to be another chance for them.
“That’s why we kept it as it was. When I left my house in Carlisle to go to the game I would have probably taken a point.
“But on the way the game went I should probably be disappointed we haven’t got three. Overall I’m just happy we took something.”
“That second of theirs, the goalkeeper made a world class save from Morgan, it was an unbelievable save,” he added. “It goes from us maybe scoring to go 2-1 up to conceding a goal within about 10 seconds.
“One of the things we probably didn’t do in terms of a keep in check of our emotions at that point, I always talk about keeping the back door closed, and we didn’t.
“It was one of those things where the lad’s outpaced Danny, gone through, scuffed it into the corner, and you’ve got to say it’s a good finish.
“Credit to the players, they kept going and working and they got their point.”
And the equaliser came after substitute Tobi Sho-Silva had missed an earlier chance, with a volley that had screeched over the bar.
“It would have been easy to hide out of the way and not go in for that second opportunity having had that miss,” the manager commented. “But he kept going, got himself in the right area, and that’s the reward for following things in.
“We had other half chances, as much as we’re happy, let’s give them a bit of credit, they defended for their lives, stuck at it, thankfully Tobi’s managed to get another goal which is a biggie for us.
“Scoring like that, it shows he can get on with it if something goes wrong and try again. I’m so chuffed for him.
“I don’t know how many strikers we had on there at the end but we wanted to see if we could get something. Thankfully we did and it’s great to see the fans react the way they did. It’s one that we’ll remember for a long time.”
Going behind in a game tended to signal the death knell earlier in the season, but there’s a quiet confidence that all is not lost these days as the team continues to work hard until the final whistle is blown.
“I think it’s character, it’s the personality of them that they keep going,” he told us. “That’s all you can put it down to.
“We had some really good opportunities but when they didn’t go in, we just kept going. We had a few skirmishes where we weren’t clinical, but they showed tremendous character to keep going.
“It was another where we wanted to try and get that first goal. We felt on Tuesday at Rochdale we gave them a lift with the penalty, and they had something to cling onto.
“The sending off lit the fire today, that was the one thing that turned it into a really hostile place. As much as it was the right decision, it certainly caused all sorts of problems.
“Thankfully our players didn’t completely lose their heads. At half time I said one of the most important things today is we finish with 11 players. Unfortunately they finished with 9m but I’m pleased that we didn’t get drawn into receiving a red ourselves.
“And it was a great goal from Omari. A short corner and we were hoping that we could try to exploit them that way. We wanted to do that on Tuesday, because two against one in that situation can be good.
“We thought they’d put one player out and the second would come later, and we thought we’d get an overload with them down to 10 at that time.
“It’s really brave positive play, and I’m pleased for him because he’s another I had a chat to during the week about staying positive and taking the game to people.
“I asked him to be aggressive with his running and he did that. It was a great finish from him.
“We had a number of good opportunities and we were better with our first contacts from set plays, which was important. We’ve taken a lot of positives against a very good side.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Paul Simpson on iFollow United now.
Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.