Great Britain

Tranmere 1-0 Brackley Town - Match report

Tranmere are in the hat for the FA Cup 3rd Round after eventually seeing off non-league Brackley Town in front of the BBC cameras at Prenton Park.

A sumptuous second half strike from substitute Kaiyne Woolery proved to be the difference between the two sides, but the National League North side who sit two divisions below League Two Rovers, more than held their own.

Keith Hill resisted the temptation to rotate his squad, making only one change from the team that beat Carlisle United on Tuesday, which was enforced.

Liam Ridehalgh came in at left back for the injured Lee O’Connor, with Calum MacDonald switching flanks to fill in at right back.

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed for the late great Diego Maradona before the action got underway.

After a scrappy start, it was the visitors who had the first real chance of the match, when a fierce shot from Lee Ndlovu was deflected behind for a corner.

Tre Mitford then blazed on over, as the non-league side showed that they weren’t here to make the numbers up for the television cameras.

Mitford went closer still a few minutes later, when he shrugged off the attentions of Manny Monthe before hitting a left-footed strike that flew just over the crossbar.

Rusty Rovers responded quickly, with MacDonald drawing a low drive wide from 20 yards out, before a cross from the fullback saw James Vaughan stick an overhead kick into the Cowsheds.

The League Two side now appeared to be settled into the contest, but they were nearly caught short just before the halfway mark when a 25-yard drive from Shep Murombedzi whistled just past the post.

Town keeper Danny Lewis was called into action when he saved Liam Feeney’s volley from a Corey Black-Taylor cross, but other than that, he was largely untroubled in the opening 45 minutes.

Rovers returned with more purpose after the interval but invariably ran into the same cul-de-sacs all too often, turning over possession and encouraging their National League North opponents to attack in the process.

A wild shot over the bar from Vaughan shortly before the hour mark perfectly illustrated the hosts’ frustration.

Hill had seen enough by now and made a double substitution on 60 minutes, bringing on Paul Lewis and Woolery for Otis Khan and Feeney respectively.

When Kieron Morris saw a low drive deflected wide before Vaughan headed the subsequent corner over the bar, Lewis had still only had one save to make with two thirds of the 90 minutes already boxed off.

That the Saints from Northamptonshire had so far failed to trouble Scott Davies themselves was reflected by Murombedzi shooting wide through a ruck of bodies from 10 yards out, when he really should have found the target.

Hill’s hour-mark intervention paid off inside eight minutes, when substitute Woolery collected the ball on the edge of the box and bent a right foot shot home off the inside of Danny Lewis’ far post, to give Rovers the lead.

From here on, Tranmere were able to exert far more measured control over the flow of the contest.

Danny Lloyd came on for Corey Blackett-Taylor with less than 10 minutes to play, before Vaughan missed the chance to double Rovers’ lead when he mis-kicked a cross from Woolery on the penalty spot.

But in truth, Tranmere were able to see out the tail end of the tie without too much trouble and will now look forward to the prospect of facing a bigger name in the next round of the competition.

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