Tranmere’s phenomenal run of form continued as they recorded a sixth straight league win at Colchester United, with James Norwood and ex-Colchester man David Perkins on the scoresheet.
It was an unchanged team for Rovers, although Keiron Morris returned from injury to take a place among the substitutes.
Tranmere started the brighter of the two teams and were pushing the hosts back within the opening couple of minutes, but The U’s did soon wake up. They were targeting Tranmere’s right with the tricky winger Abu Eisa not giving Jake Caprice a moment’s peace.
However, despite a fair bit of possession, they didn’t realty create much. Tranmere were much more purposeful and creative in possession, and shortly after Connor Jennings had hit the side-netting, Rovers broke the deadlock.
Colchester were actually the ones on the break, but when Sammie Szmodics was crowded out on the edge of the Tranmere boss, Rovers broke at speed. Perkins won the ball and carried it at pace through the Rovers half and in to the opposition territory.
He picked the perfect moment to slip a ball through to James Norwood who approached the goal from the right side of the box and beautifully dinked the ball passed the on-rushing goalkeeper. Rovers led.
It was perfect timing midway through the half and allowed Rovers to slip back in to position and allow the hosts the ball, picking them off on the break. When they did break, the Colchester back four had gaping holes.
There were a couple of scares for Rovers with Davies watching a shot fizz just over the bar from distance while both Monthe and Ellis were called in to action with vital clearances. Tranmere led at the break.
As starts to the second half go, this one could not be bettered. Tranmere instantly got on the attack with Caprice breaking in to the box from the right. He should have taken the shot on, but instead delayed and pulled it back to Jennings. Jennings did well to dig a shot out that the Colchester keeper just managed to push away, but David Perkins was closing in to smash the ball in to the roof of the net. His first goal for Tranmere, and it came at his former club.
With a 2-0 lead, Rovers were so comfortable. Colchester should have offered more, but you cannot help but compliment Tranmere. They were defensively outstanding, and despite U’s boss John McGreal making a few tactical changes, they still couldn’t get a goal back. Rovers were instead the more likely to score as they just waited for the opportunity to break away.
The closest the hosts came was from an Eisa free-kick. It brought out the now-standard Scott Davies worldie of the week. The Rovers keeper did brilliantly to palm the ball on to the post at full-stretch. It didn’t look like it would be enough as the ball bobbled back across the goal line, but somehow, Caprice beat two forwards to the ball and miraculously hooked it away from under the bar.
That was as good as it got. Micky Mellon introduced Jay Harris for the last 15 minutes or so, and the midfielder was at his tenacious best to break up play and set-up counter attacks. Caprice and Norwood both went close to adding a third.
As we entered stoppage time, Norwood toyed with the opposition defenders. First, he produced multiple step-overs in the corner on the right, drawing a free-kick. Moments later, he was at it the other side, drawing another free-kick and a yellow card for a defender.
2-0 is how it finished, another magnificent win for Micky’s team. Rovers are purring right now and are oozing confidence and quality. It’s going to be a pulsating few weeks.