The next game is always the most important, and there is another huge game at Prenton Park on Good Friday (19 April) when Forest Green Rovers visit Wirral.
With just four matches remaining in the League Two season, it’s all to play for, the stakes are high and any mistakes between now and 4 May could be costly in the race to get into the top three places in the division and achieve automatic promotion.
That said, Rovers really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 99% guaranteed to be in the end of season play-offs (10 points clear of 8th placed Carlisle United with a superior goal difference and only 12 points left up for grabs), you could say the shackles are off to a degree.
We find ourselves in a fantastic position with the possibility of a top three finish still in sight. But you could hardly have hand picked a trickier set of fixtures than the four we have yet to play to complete the season, three against teams in the top six and the other (on the final day of the season) a team who might potentially need to win to stay in the EFL.
But first things first. The final three matches won’t matter as much unless we get a result against Forest Green Rovers on Friday, making this a huge fixture for the football club.
Now, we don’t have a long history of playing Forest Green. Our first meeting with them was back in 2015 in the National League when Gary Taylor-Fletcher and James Norwood secured a 2-0 win at the Gloucestershire club’s New Lawn stadium. Friday’s game will only be the seventh meeting between the two clubs. But among those six prior encounters, there have been a couple of significant ones.
Feel free to skip a couple of paragraphs as I take you back to 2017.
11 April 2017, a rearranged home game. Rovers had been on an incredible run of results up until this point. Fresh off the back of thrashing Solihull Moors 9-0 in fact! A long injury list was added to when Jay Harris limped off after 26 minutes. Kaiyne Woolery scored with five minutes to go to give Forest Green the win and all but extinguish Tranmere’s hopes of catching Lincoln City at the top of the table.
Fast forward a month or so and a chance to gain revenge for that defeat. At Wembley of all places in the play-off final with a place in the Football League up for grabs. You know that long injury list, well, it was even longer by this stage! And the rest is history. I don’t need to tell you what happened.
So it may not be a long-lasting rivalry, but there have been some important games in the short time we’ve known each other and Friday’s clash could well be the most significant of them all.
Victory, and automatic promotion hopes are well and truly alive and kicking, we might even find ourselves in the top three positions depending on other results. Defeat, and it would bring an Everest-like mountain to climb to achieve that top three finish.
The team have performed admirably all season to get themselves into this position. I think they’ve earned our support. We’re backing the club’s Pack The Park marketing initiative, so if you can get to Prenton Park to cheer the lads on, please do so. Ask your friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours. Let’s get Prenton Park bouncing and give that little added positive energy to the players. Head to www.trfctickets.co.uk.