Match Preview

Photo Credit: Lewis Storey

Tranmere Rovers vs. Bury (27/04/2019) Sky Bet League 2 Match Preview

1456 days on from the final day of the 2014/2015 League 2 campaign, we meet again. For the first time in 4 years Tranmere play host to Bury.

Rewind back in time, what were you doing on the 2nd of May in 2015? Were you one of the fans who chose to stay away from the toxicity of the club? Were you unable to go due to other plans? Were you at Prenton Park? If you were at Prenton Park you will have witnessed over 2000 Bury supporters celebrate promotion to League 1 following our own fall out of the football league. Almost 4 years on they can do it again, a win on Saturday could see Bury promoted to League 1, at Prenton Park, again! So much has changed both on and off the park for Rovers since that day. Since then we have appointed Micky Mellon, been to Wembley twice and been promoted. Bury have had 2 bottom half League 1 seasons and a relegation.

The feeling around the club is so vibrant at the moment. Everybody feels together, we all have one passion, one dream and one thing in common: We all want to be playing League 1 football next season.

A packed Kop is expected for the top of the table clash

Back when we last hosted Bury our fate was already decided, we were going into Non-League. This time around everything has changed, we are now hoping to get promoted to league 1. After suffering for 3 years in the hell hole that was the National League we finally escaped last May. While automatic promotion may seem a pipe dream now, finishing in the playoffs is something we should be proud of achieving. A point on Saturday will guarantee Rovers a playoff spot, however, even in defeat it seems extremely likely we will get a spot, for us not to we would need Newport to win all their 3 final games, Exeter to win their final 2 and for us to lose our final 2. Very unlikely.

Rovers still have one of the best home records in the division. Bury have one of the better away records in the division. This tie will be tasty. With an expected 2000+ Bury supporters and a crowd of around 10,000 ready to cram PP, the atmosphere will be electric. Unfortunately for Rovers, we will be without defender Mark Ellis- it was confirmed by Mellon in the week that he has injured his cruciate knee ligaments. The Whites will also be without Ishmael Miller and likely Evan Gumbs, Gumbs shined in his performance at Lincoln on Monday. Mellon also confirmed that Saturday will likely be too soon for Liam Ridehalgh to make a return. Fortunately for Tranmere, David Perkins is back in training, as is Steve McNulty, this gives Rovers a huge boost as we head into a potential playoff battle.

Workhorse David Perkins’ absence in recent games has been keenly felt

Last time we played Bury it was during our run of poor performances away from home- a 2-1 defeat at Gigg Lane in December moved us down to 9th in the table. Since then we have drastically improved, the signings of Perkins, Morris and Pringle among others have spearheaded us into the promotion picture. A lot of controversy currently looms over Bury, it is believed that they are in a lot of trouble financially- this has led a lot of Football supporters to call them out for spending too much to ensure they are immediately promoted back to League 1. After seeing Lincoln celebrate being crowned champions against us on Monday. We will be eager to ensure we don’t have another celebration against us on Saturday.

Saturday promises to be a highly intense and exhilarating match. A win could put us back in with a chance of getting automatic promotion, even if it is a long shot. Even if we don’t get automatic promotion, it has been a magnificent season and one we should be proud of. The current group of lads and the supporters have put Tranmere back on the map after we slipped off it in recent years. All staff, players, supporters and anyone else involved with the club should be eternally proud of this season. Here’s to hoping we win our final 2, get some form going into the playoffs and get promoted to the third tier. Micky Mellon’s going for two in a row! SWA!

Score Prediction:

Tranmere 2-2 Bury

Probable line ups:

TranmereDavies, Caprice, Monthe, Nelson, Bakayogo, Morris, Harris, Banks, Pringle, Mullin, Norwood

BuryMurphy, Aimson, Thompson, Wharton, Adams, O’Shea, Rossiter, Mayor, Stokes, Telford, Maynard

William Gilbert


Twitter: @WillTranmere_

Blog: WillGilbertReport

Match Review

Lincoln City 0-0 Tranmere Rovers (22/04/2019) Sky Bet League 2 Review:

After game number 44 of the season, it looks like it’s the playoffs for Tranmere. The whites worked hard for 90 minutes at Sincil Bank and it could be argued we were unlucky not to leave with all 3 points. With 6 points left to play for we are 4 points off the top 3. We are also only able to be caught by Newport outside the playoffs but it seems a tragedy would have to take place for us to drop out the top 7 now. A third playoff campaign in a row and our first playoff finish in the EFL since 2005, MM has got something special going on with that group of lads.

This afternoon also saw Lincoln win the league title, their second in 2 years, so congratulations to them! The work rate from our boys today, especially in the blistering heat, was tremendous. The first half was mostly Lincoln pushing forward and threatening our goal, however, Sid Nelson and Manny Monthe were solid at the back. Manny himself got a lot of praise on social media from opposition fans after the game. Another unfortunate injury struck at the end of the first half as Sid Nelson suffered a shoulder injury- this forced him off at the break. He was replaced by Rovers youth product Evan Gumbs, unfortunately, he came off with his own injury in the last few minutes. Evan made his first football league appearance for us today since November 2014, a game which saw us lose at Luton.

Gumbs and Gilmour coming on was a stroke of genius by Mellon, who once again showed off how clever he is tactically. Gilmour’s introduction allowed us to create more chances it was just unlucky for us that we couldn’t convert them.

We were backed by 920 members of the SWA today, they, of course, did not stop singing all game. The support we give the lads has been nothing short of phenomenal all season. We played fearless football and ran at the new champions with pace and intention. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite our day in front of goal, leading marksman Nors missed a select few chances. Matt Gilks in the Lincoln goal had his palms stung a few times. Spirits are still high among the SWA, even with only 1 win in our last 5.

Let’s pack the park for the final time in the league this season. Get down to PP and support the lads, let’s get up to League 1! TEQUILA!

Atmosphere- 5*

Both sets of fans making enormous amounts of noise with 9658 altogether packing out Sincil Bank (920 SWA). Class.

Home support- 4.5*

Fantastic support from the Imps all game. Hindered by some inappropriate fans at the end of the game goading the SWA.

Away support- 4.5*

The 3-hour trip, just under 1000 travelled, didn’t stop singing. Unbelievable.

Will’s MOTM:

Manny Monthe

Didn’t put a foot wrong, solid at the back and kept Akinde silent.

William Gilbert


Twitter: @WillTranmere_

Blog: WillGilbertReport

Match Preview

‘Awaydays’ – credit Simon Worth

Lincoln City v Tranmere Rovers (22/04/2019) Sky Bet League 2 Preview

1st vs. 5th. Seeking title vs. Seeking promotion. A lot is at stake on Easter Monday’s fixture at Sincil Bank between Lincoln and Tranmere, the two sides have a slight rivalry after the intense title race that took place in the 16-17 VNL season. Even though they are already promoted Lincoln need a win if they’re to secure the league title. Although a point will do the job if Mansfield fail to win at Oldham. On the other hand, Tranmere need to bounce back after tasting bitter defeat at the hands of Forest Green on Good Friday.

The Rovers side that travel to Lincoln will be a lot lighter, the injury to Mark Ellis on Friday is a massive blow and won’t be an easy hole to cover up. Sid Nelson is likely to take his place as he did a solid job on Friday standing in for Mark – but could we even see the return of the Mac?

Macca had looked set to ride off into the sunset after 3 years of service to the SWA

Steve McNulty hasn’t been seen on the pitch since Rovers’ 3-0 defeat to Mansfield at the back end of January. This game is the Whites penultimate match up with promotion rivals this season after a tricky last few games where the men in white have held up well. Picking up wins against some tough sides including the likes of MK, Carlisle and Colchester. As the injury list builds up going into the last couple of games, the SWA can’t be blamed for worrying about whether any further injuries will hinder their promotion hopes. Micky confirmed that leading goalscorer Lord Nors had a scan on Tuesday that showed a torn groin only for him to play the full 90 on Friday. James was the difference maker in the reverse fixture back in October, as he netted the winner in a 1-0 Rovers win.

The Tranmere back line will have to be fully up to the task if they’re to stop Lincoln’s top goalscorer John Akinde, we will also have to keep Bruno Andrade quiet, the man who netted for Boreham Wood In last seasons’ playoff final.

The Imps winger Bruno Andrade

Tranmere are still likely to be without Ishmael Miller and David Perkins, who are still both out with hamstring injuries, as well as Liam Ridehalgh who picked up a knee injury in training. Crucially we could also be without Norwood who may step out for Paul Mullin after his impressive FGR performance.

We have sold all of our allocation for the Stacey West Stand, as little as that may be. The SWA are certainly in the mood to ruin Lincoln’s party.

It’ll be a tough game for the Super Whites but we will definitely test the Imps.

Score prediction:

Lincoln 2-1 Tranmere

Probable line ups:

Lincoln- Gilks, Eardley, Bostwick, Bolger, Toffolo, Anderson, Pett, O’Hara, Andrade, Akinde, McCarten

Tranmere- Davies, Caprice, Monthe, Nelson, Bakayogo, Morris, Harris, Banks, Pringle, Jennings, Norwood

William Gilbert


Twitter: @WillTranmere_

Blog: WillGilbertReport

Match Review

Photo Credit: Richard Ault

Tranmere 0-1 Forest Green (19/04/2019) Sky Bet League 2 Review

Tranmere’s automatic promotion hopes took a huge blow at the hands of Forest Green. The first half started off as an end-to-end, tight encounter, as slow as Rovers started, it seemed we could turn it on any minute. Any momentum we had was killed as another injury thumped us, this time it was our reliable centre half Mark Ellis. Ellis has been a huge part of the team and has put in many MOTM performances since coming into the team fully in February.

From start to finish the SWA backed the lads impeccably, once again. An astounding crowd of 9468 (170 away) rolled into PP today, it’s a shame that we couldn’t get the result we wanted.

Sid Nelson put a shift in at the back but couldn’t quite fit into the shoes left by Ellis, Paul Mullin made a huge difference off the bench and Chris Dagnall really didn’t get enough time or enough of the ball to make an impact. The deadlock was broken early in the second half when Junior Mondal (real name Lewis Scobal) fired a rocket of a shot into the top corner. The SWA ramped up the atmosphere as we searched for the all elusive equaliser. Paul Mullin’s free kick hit the post and the Green Devils certainly knew how to use up the time. In the second half we pushed forward and looked very dangerous, unfortunately it wasn’t our day.

Micky applauds a raucous Kop

There’s no doubt Forest Green are a “bogey team” to us. Another defeat at the hands of Mark Cooper’s men leaves us 4 points adrift of the top 3 with 9 points to play for. A win at Lincoln is crucial if we’re to get the automatics.

The park was packed, the game was disappointing. It’s a huge shame, the support can not stop though, we need to carry on pushing the lads forward over the finish line and try to get us into League 1.

Regardless of the result and those results of the teams around us, MM will undoubtably get into the lads, we will come back stronger and we will go for the win in our final 3 games. Don’t stop believing and don’t stop supporting the lads. Stick behind them, this is just a pit stop in our wonderful trip. SWA

Atmosphere: 3.5 *

Not quite on the level it was against MK but the SWA certainly tried their hardest to urge us on

Home support: 4.5 *

Nearly a 9,500 gate in the 4th tier, absolutely amazing. Simple.

Away support: 1 *

170 away supporters in a game this big is a bit mediocre. Only thing stopping a 0* is the topless bunch that danced all game.

Will’s MOTM:

Zoumana Bakayogo

With 2 Trademark 80 yard ‘zooms’ in the 1st half to remind us all why he remains a firm fan favourite

William Gilbert


Twitter: @WillTranmere_

Blog: WillGilbertReport

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