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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Rovers 2 - 2 United

Report from the Tranmere away game

2 April 2022

United kicked off April with an away trip to Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon.

And there were two changes from the Tuesday starting eleven with defender Rod McDonald and midfielder Danny Devine in for Jack Armer and Corey Whelan.

That meant a move forward into midfield for Jon Mellish, with Brennan Dickenson positioned over on the left flank in a wing back role.

Morgan Feeney was handed the captain's armband for the first time at the start of the game, fresh from winning his March player of the month award earlier in the week.

There was an early flurry from Tranmere when Dacres-Cogley clipped the ball up the line. Morris was upended by McDonald, but play was allowed to continue as Nevitt took over. Feeney stepped across to get in the way.

A throw on the right brought Dennis into play as he shielded it, with his back to goal. Mellor supported, and his bending delivery was flicked on by Mellish. It was too far in front of Dickenson and Murphy pulled it into his chest.

It was probing stuff from both teams and MacDonald overlapped for the hosts before delivering deep. Howard called for it before plucking it out of the air.

Tranmere took the lead from nowhere on the quarter hour when the visitors lost the ball inside the opposition half. A quick break took the hosts wide, and Dacres-Cogley had room to deliver low. Kane Hemmings was able to pick his spot from close range with a thundering connection.

The momentum was with the home team and Warrington used MacDonald as an outlet as white shirts flooded forward. The cross was met on the jump by Morris but it was straight at Howard.

Defence was turned into attack again for the hosts when Patrick was robbed as he dropped a shoulder on the edge of the area. Two passes later and Nevitt had just Feeney to deal with. He opted for an early effort but Howard was equal to it.

Carlisle countered and a through ball from Patrick had Gibson on the sprint. Murphy was off his line to block, but the wide man spun quickly, sensing that the target was unprotected. He went for the lob from an awkward angle but MacDonald got in the way, and Mellish was thwarted as he tried to hoover up the pieces.

Hawkes thrashed a long-range piledriver wide as the game continued to flow at a steady pace, but it was the away side who thought they'd found a way through when Mellish picked a beauty of a pass to the feet of Patrick. He twisted and wound a path, before putting Dennis into the box. The forward pulled the trigger with vigour but it bent just the wrong side of the post.

United came again with another incisive move as Devine lofted a lovely pass to Mellish. He beat his man, but his cross was charged down. Patrick suddenly had half a sight of a snapshot, and Dennis tried to help it on its way. Clarke's boot sent the ball into the air, and Gibson was prevented from volleying it in by a very brave lunge.

There was chaos on 40 minutes when MacDonald went on for a strong challenge on Mellor. A red card was shown, and the Tranmere players reacted badly, causing a real ruck. Tom Davies and Kane Hemmings were booked for the home team, with Morgan Feeney and Dynel Simeu receiving the same for the black shirts. Both managers were also carded.

The Cumbrians were first to attack after it had all calmed down, but Dennis was targeted by two defenders, and his chip was deflected wide.

Ten-man Tranmere had an early chance in the second period when a kick from Howard was nodded back towards Nevitt. He was clean through, but his drilled cross across the face of the target went untouched.

United responded with an opening of their own when Mellor released a quick throw for Gibson to deliver. Feeney ducked low to head it but it ballooned over the bar.

Tenacity from Mellish earned his side a corner, when he wouldn't let a rolling ball go, and it led to the equaliser as it was taken short to Patrick. He beat one then turned the afterburners on as he sliced into the box. Murphy could do nothing as a rasper hit a boot on its way into the top corner.

Feeney had to block from Nevitt at the other end after Gibson had been caught short, but it was an excellent intervention and the mop-up operation could commence.

A powerful downward header from Davies appeared to be going in when he got on the end of a corner for the hosts, but it seemed to come off Hemmings as he got in the way, and the moment was gone.

It was end-to-end and Mellor surged onwards to cross as Gibson put it his way. Mellish arrived to meet it but he glanced his touch wide of the target.

Dennis then had a toe-poke on the turn blocked as he moved smartly to meet a Gibson pass, and the pair almost combined again when the wide man sent a beauty into the mix. Clarke did just enough to cut it out.

Carlisle threw men forward, and there was a real chance when a deep Gibson corner was headed back by Mellor. All it needed was a touch, but it sailed past the onrushing strikers.

United were completely undone on 76 minutes when they had just about everybody forward for a free kick. Feeney's header was stopped, Simeu kept it alive, and Gibson tried to feed it back for the defender when it came his way. Nevitt outstripped Devine for pace and he kept a cool head as he found the bottom corner.

Rovers adopted a rearguard action, but they sprang again late in the day with a whopping kick forward. Morris got it under control but he rattled his effort over the bar.

Morris was then sent off when he challenged with McDonald on the halfway line - a decision which came as a surprise despite it being another heavy challenge - but United couldn't capitalise and their frustration was summed up when Sho-Silva smashed one over deep into time added on.

But that was quickly turned to joy with the last attack of the afternoon when Gibson went for glory from distance. It thumped against the upright and Sho-Silva was the first to react with a dramatic late headed equaliser that sent the away fans behind the goal into a frenzy.

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Goals

Tranmere Rovers - Hemmings (15), Nevitt (76)

Carlisle United - Patrick (55), Sho-Silva (90+7)

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Bookings

Tranmere Rovers - Davies (40), Hemmings (40), Mellon (40), Dacres-Cogley (87), Murphy (90), Clarke (90+2)

Sent off - MacDonald (40), Morris (90)

Carlisle United - Feeney (40), Simeu (40), Simpson (40), Mellor (63), Mellish (90+2)

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Teams

Tranmere Rovers - Murphy, Dacres-Cogley, MacDonald, Davies, Morris, Hemmings (Knight-Percival 85), Hawkes (Merrie 46), Warrington (Spearing 68), Nevitt, O'Connor, Clake (c). Subs - Doohan (gk), McManaman, Maynard, McPake.

Carlisle United - Howard, Mellor, Simeu (Sho-Silva 86), Feeney (c), McDonald, Dickenson, Gibson, Devine (Toure 78), Mellish, Patrick, Dennis. Subs - Norman (gk), Riley, Whelan, Roberts, Omotoye.

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Match officials

Referee - Charles Breakspear
Assistant Referee 1 - Marvyn Amphlett
Assistant Referee 2 - Steven Rushton
Fourth Official - Scott Jackson
Observer - Mark Haywood

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Attendance - 6,477 (711)


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