LCS Events
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 8th AugustAug 2017
| Att: 4698

Tranmere Rovers
Tranmere Rovers
3 - 1

Woking
Woking

Cards travel to promotion favourites

Brian Caffarey
2:11pm, Sun 6th Aug 2017
Tranmere Rovers v Woking
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 8 August 2017

The Cards could not have been handed a tougher first away trip, with Rovers tipped for automatic promotion. But they will travel to Prenton Park in good spirits after their well-deserved opening day win over Gateshead on Saturday and, as Anthony Limbrick has pointed out, the pressure will all be on Tranmere to perform.

WOKING

Anthony Limbrick got off to a flyer on Saturday as his new-look side grabbed all three points, putting in an impressive performance in the process. The defence was very solid, leaving Nathan Baxter with very little to do: the Gateshead goal resulted from a deflection. Richard Orlu and Josh Staunton were assured in central defence, with the latter making an exceptional sliding block at one point to foil Gateshead’s dangerous Danny Johnson. Nathan Ralph had an excellent game, both defensively and going forward, linking well with the outstanding ‘man of the match’, Joe Ward. Louis Ramsay at right back looked a fine acquisition, with good positioning and quick recovery. Joey Jones and Chez Isaac were influential in giving the side some momentum out of defence. Bobson Bawling, though not making much headway down the flank, worked hard, tackled back effectively and had a hand in both Woking’s goals. Innih Effiong also worked tirelessly, proving an effective target man, with his persistence paying off with the opening goal. Fabio Saraiva’s injury cut short a promising start but Charlie Carter proved an able substitute, with some astute touches and plenty of energy. Jamie Philpot only had time for a cameo appearance but looked confident.

The side also impressed with their work rate and organisation. Almost the only downside was that the failure to grab a third goal early in the second half made for a somewhat nervous ending as Gateshead inevitably threw a lot of balls into the box but, thanks to some determined defending, they created very few chances.

TRANMERE ROVERS

Once more Rovers start their third season in the Conference National as the bookies’ favourite for automatic promotion but their fans must be anxious that they will miss out again, having finished in 6th place in their first campaign and then being beaten in last season’s play-off final by Forest Green Rovers.

When you look at the size and quality of Rovers’ squad, coupled with the strength of their support, it’s no surprise that they are strongly tipped for automatic promotion. Manager Micky Mellon has made some promising looking signings this summer, including: striker James Alabi, aged 22, brought in from Chester, for whom he netted 23 times in 53 games, and who grabbed five goals in his first friendly outing; Elliot Rokka, a 21-year-old winger, who was originally at Manchester United’s Academy and who had a spell at Macclesfield Town before impressing for Radcliffe Borough; 6’4�striker George Waring, who was in Stoke City’s Academy and who subsequently had loan spells with Barnsley, Shrewsbury (when Mellon was manager there) and Carlisle United; former England U19 striker, and Liverpool trainee, Jack Dunn, who had a loan spell at Prenton Park last year; and highly experienced defender, former Scottish international, Jay McEveley, who played for Blackburn Rovers and Derby in the Premiership but who has most recently appeared for Ross County.

Anthony Limbrick must look at Tranmere’s striking options with envy for, in addition to the new arrivals, Mellon can also call on England C striker James Norwood, Andy Mangan, former Barrow top scorer Andy Cook and exciting winger Ben Tollitt amongst other attack-minded players, while at the back there is of course the redoubtable Steve McNulty and a fine keeper in Scott Davies. However, Rovers will be without both McNulty and Norwood on Tuesday, both having received red cards in Tranmere’s 0-0 draw at Torquay United on Saturday.

GETTING THERE

Tranmere Rovers FC
Prenton Park
Prenton Road West
Birkenhead
Merseyside
CH42 9PY

Official website: www.tranmereroversfc.co.uk

The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game, nor to the following Saturday’s game at Barrow.

By car

The Tranmere Rovers official site gives the following directions by car for fans travelling from the south: M6, M56 and M53 to J4. Take the fourth exit from the roundabout onto the B5151 (Mount Road). Continue for 2.5 miles when Mount Road becomes Storeton Road and turn right onto Prenton Road West at traffic lights. The ground is on the righthand side in 200 yards.

As regards parking, the website offers the following information: There is a very large car park at the ground which costs £5 per car per game. Car park tickets can be purchased in advance from the Ticket Office on 03330144452 and online at www.trfctickets.co.uk. Beware of a residents’ parking scheme which is in operation around on many roads around the ground.

By train

A train trip from Woking would obviously require an overnight stop.

Take the train to Liverpool Lime Street. The quickest route is direct from Euston but you may find cheaper options e.g. by travelling via Crewe. Check out www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.trainline.com

The Tranmere official site gives the following advice for getting to the ground from Lime Street: Head for the Wirral Line lower level station and board a New Brighton or West Kirby train to Conway Park, or an Ellesmere Port or Chester train to Birkenhead Central or Rock Ferry.
From Conway Park: Turn right outside the station and walk 100 yards to Birkenhead Bus Station.
From Birkenhead Central: Cross Argyle Street and walk along Borough Road, which runs parallel to the flyover. The ground is approximately a 30-minute walk.
From Rock Ferry: The ground is a 15-minute walk. Turn right outside the station onto Bedford Road. Continue along Bedford Avenue and Bedford Drive until you reach a road junction shortly after Prenton High School. Continue onto Mount Road and turn right at the first set of traffic lights onto Borough Road - the ground is five minutes on the left.

ADMISSION PRICES

Summit Marine Cowshed Stand (away supporters only) - behind the goal, facilities: fast food, licensed bar, toilets, Family Friendly Area. Prices for tickets bought on the day are:

Adults £19
Seniors (65+) £12
Young Persons (17-22) £12
Under-17 £7
Under-12 (must be accompanied) £2

Ticket prices are £2 cheaper (except for U12s) if bought in advance.

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 0 Tranmere Rovers 3
Vanarama National League
31 January 2017

The Cards went into this rescheduled game on the back of away wins at Torquay and Eastleigh, which had lifted them to 19th spot in the table. They played confidently in the first half and took the game to Rovers, with new loan signing Macauley Bonne going close after fine work from ‘man of the match’, Jake Caprice. But, shortly after the break, winger Ben Tollitt laid on a goal for Andy Cook and then quickly added a second with a powerful strike from the edge of the box. As Woking continued to press forward gamely, Tollitt showed his class with a superb solo goal, running half the length of the pitch before finishing smartly.

Woking: Michael Poke; Jake Caprice, Terell Thomas, Ismail Yakubu, Joey Jones, Fabio Saraiva, Keiran Murtagh (Connor Hall 75), Charlie Carter (Max Kretzschmar 62), Kane Ferdinand, Macauley Bonne (Chris Arthur 75), Gozie Ugwu

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Luke Kandi

Tranmere Rovers: Scott Davies, Lois Maynard, Steve McNulty, Michael Ihiekwe, Lee Vaughan, James Wallace (Jay Harris 58), Jeff Harris, Ben Tollitt, Liam Ridehalgh, James Norwood (Jake Kirby 77), Andy Cook (Cole Stockton 80)

Unused subs: Ian Turner, Andy Mangan

Goals: Cook (52), Tollitt (54, 77)

Attendance: 816

COMING UP

The Cards are away to Barrow on Saturday 12 August. Their next home game is on Tuesday 15 August when they entertain Eastleigh. That game is followed by another, keenly-awaited, home game on Saturday 19 August when Leyton Orient are expected to bring great support.


Come on, you Cards!


One goal not enough when 3 is the impressive Rovers' return

Adam Leary
12:00am, Tue 8th Aug 2017
Tranmere Rovers 3 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
8th August 2017

Tranmere Rovers lived up to their billing as favourites to win the National League with a strong display which saw Woking slump to their first defeat of the season in Wirral. Charlie Carter’s header towards the end of the first half looked to have given the Cards a lifeline back into the contest, but a header from former Scotland International Jay McEveley midway through the second half ensured victory for the home side.

Anthony Limbrick made just one change from the opening day win over Gateshead, with Charlie Carter replacing the injured Fabio Saraiva, whom he came on for during the second half at Kingfield. Jordan Wynter was added to the bench.

Tranmere, who went into the season following a 2016/17 double whammy of runners up spots - to Lincoln City in the league and then Forest Green Rovers in the Wembley play off final, have made no secret of their desire to go one better this season. Rovers boss Mickey Mellon made three changes from the side which earned a goalless draw at Torquay on Saturday. Two enforced changes, with Ritchie Sutton and Andy Cook replacing Steve McNulty and Oliver Norwood, who both saw red in the season opener. Elsewhere, Jack Dunn, formerly of Liverpool, came in for James Alabi, who Cards fans will remember lining up against them for Chester last season.

The first effort of the game came from the home side, with Connor Jennings shooting sharply from distance and forcing Baxter into a smart save, given the slick playing surface caused by pre match drizzle. This effort notwithstanding, Woking started this match brightly, looking to implement a high pressing game with an attacking midfield triumvirate of Joe Ward, Charlie Carter and Bobson Bawling all looking to press the Rovers backline into errors. Louis Ramsey also showed some encouraging signs of being able to burst forward well from right back.

At the other end, Nathan Baxter was called into action when a long diagonal ball came into the box from Ridehalgh, aiming for Andy Cook - so prolific last season. Baxter judged the cross well, meeting the ball with a firm fist under pressure from the former Barrow front man. Woking had their first attempt on goal in the 15th minute, Bawling linking up well with Carter, who let fly from the edge of the box. Unfortunately, the shot went high into the Bebington Kop behind the goal.

After 16 minutes, Tranmere nearly took the lead. Cook and Dunn linked up well, and just as Dunn looked set to shoot Nathan Ralph made a fine last ditch tackle. The loose ball fell to Cook, who was then denied by a sturdy block from Orlu.

2 minutes later, Rovers did take the lead, and Woking will be desperately disappointed with the way the goal came about. An innocuous ball down the Woking right saw first Josh Staunton, and then Richard Orlu, fail to deal with a bouncing ball under pressure from the combative Cook. The Tranmere striker advanced into the box, dummied to shoot leaving Baxter grounded, and then slotted home past the goalkeeper and despairing lunge from Ralph. Orlu and Staunton protested to the referee about a handball in the build up, but the official waved away the protests. The new central defensive pairing for Woking will feel they should have dealt with the threat, regardless of any perceived infringement.

The goal rocked the visitors and boosted the home side, who started moving the ball with increased confidence. Woking struggled to get the ball up to Inih Effiong whilst Chez Isaac and Joey Jones struggled with the pressure applied by the Rovers midfield.

After 30 minutes the home side doubled their lead. Ollie Norburn cut in from the right hand side and unleashed a fierce low drive from outside the box. Baxter, diving to his left, got a hand to the ball but could only divert it in off the post.

It was important for the Cards to avoid the concession of a third goal in the remaining minutes of the half. Just when they seemed to settle for capping their ambitions accordingly, they fashioned some attacking pressure of their own. Ward showed some good skill to beat Buxton on the left flank, the winger appearing to be fouled, however the referee Mr. Evans decided not to award a free kick. Rather than sulk, Ward opted to channel his frustration to fine effect, fashioning a yard of space and whipping in a teasing right foot cross from the left. The cross was met by a perfectly-timed run from Charlie Carter, who burst into the box and headed the ball superbly past the outstretched left arm of Scott Davies. A fine header, finishing a fine cross after 42 minutes.

The timing of the goal would have likely changed the tone of Anthony Limbrick’s half time team talk, as to that point Woking had largely been second best.

Half-time: Tranmere Rovers 2 Woking 1

Neither manager made any changes at half time. Woking started the half on the back foot and in the 49th minute were given a let-off from the referee. Staunton, who had a difficult night, hesitated again and failed to collect a loose ball just inside the Woking half. The ball was seized upon by Cook who ran towards goal. Staunton lunged for the ball but missed it, cleaning out the Rovers striker. The official reached for his pocket and elected to show Staunton a yellow card, to the chagrin of the home support.

In the 59th minute Limbrick made the first Woking change, with Kane Ferdinand replacing Chez Isaac, who struggled with the fluency and movement in the Tranmere midfield. A minute after the substitution, the Cards conceded a corner. The ball was delivered by Dunn and met by the head of Jay McEveley who had evaded the Woking markers to plant his header into the net.

Woking made a second substitution shortly after, Jamie Philpot replacing the goalscorer Carter, and taking up his position just behind Effiong. The Millwall loanee looked bright and made a difference to the Cards attack, linking up well with Bawling after a quick free kick. Bawling’s deep cross was kept alive at the far post by Ralph, who looked to square for Effiong who was then penalised for a high foot.

Bawling forced Davies into a decent save when he cut in from the right and fired a left foot shot across the face of goal, the resultant ball back in from Ward fell to Philpot, who couldn’t fashion a shot at goal.

As Woking tried to find a way back into the contest, there were inevitably opportunities for Tranmere to create chances of their own. On 74 minutes a fine move from the home side, involving the impressive left back Ridehalgh, saw a firm cross headed wide from Cook from 10 yards. The home side then made a couple of changes, underlining the attacking options at the disposal of Mickey Mellon, with James Alabi and Andy Mangan introduced.

Woking did their best to create some openings and apply pressure, asking Bawling and Ward to switch flanks. A few crosses into the box from Ward and Ralph offered hope, but in truth it was Tranmere who posed the greater threat. Mangan forced a fine save from Baxter following a right foot volley, and Ridehalgh, excellent on the night for the home team, fired wide after an excellent one-two with Mangan.

Three minutes of stoppage time offered little of note other than a late booking for Louis Ramsey, before the referee drew the match to a close. Tranmere, on this form, will take some beating in the National League this season. For Woking, they will take comfort in putting a tough fixture behind what is still a young team finding its feet in the company of top National League opposition.

Tranmere Rovers: Scott Davies, Adam Buxton, Liam Ridehalgh, Ritchie Sutton, Jay McEveley, Jay Harris, Andy Cook (James Alabi 75), Connor Jennings, Ollie Norburn, Jack Dunn (Andrew Mangan 75), Jeff Hughes ©

Subs not used: George Waring, Evan Gumbs, Luke Pilling

Goals: Cook (18), Norburn (31), McEveley (60)

Bookings: None

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Louis Ramsay, Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones, Josh Staunton, Richard Orlu, Bobson Bawling, Chez Isaac (Kane Ferdinand 58), Inih Effiong, Charlie Carter (Jamie Philpot 62), Joe Ward

Subs not used: Jordan Wynter, Sam Mason, Matt Young

Goals: Charlie Carter (43)

Bookings: Staunton, Philpot, Ramsey

Attendance: 4,698

My MOTM: Nathan Baxter. Whilst the young stopper will be disappointed at failing to stop Norburn’s strike, he generally coped well with the physical threat posed by Cook and made some good stops which kept Woking in the game in the second half.
Tranmere Rovers LINEUP
1Scott Davies
22Adam Buxton
3Liam Ridehalgh
8Jay Harris
6Jay McEveley
24Jeff Hughes
12Ritchie Sutton
15Ollie Norburn
9Andy Cook ('75)
16Jack Dunn ('75)
11Connor Jennings
BENCH
12James Alabi ('75)
14George Waring
19Andrew Mangan ('75)
26Luke Pilling
28Evan Gumbs
WOKING LINEUP
1Nathan Baxter
2Louis Ramsay
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
6Richard Orlu
4Joey Jones
8Chez Isaac ('58)
12Charlie Carter ('62)
7Bobson Bawling
23Joe Ward
9Inih Effiong
BENCH
18Sam Mason
15Jordan Wynter
20Jamie Philpot ('62)
21Matt Young
22Kane Ferdinand ('58)

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