Rovers cave in late at Aldershot


It had a slightly predictable feel to it today as Rovers succumbed to two late goals to fall to defeat at Aldershot, as a frankly miserable season continues.

It all started well enough for Micky Mellon at the Recreation Ground on Saturday, as some encouraging early pressure and quick counter-attacking put the home team on the back foot and Rovers on the offensive.

There were only 17 minutes on the clock when skipper Steve McNulty made it count, heading home Jeff Hughes’ corner to give the band of just over 300 travelling fans something to cheer.

Despite having a couple of dangerous attacks, Tranmere couldn’t add a second before the interval, and as the teams trudged off for their half-time break and the wind whistled around the old stadium, you couldn’t help but feel Rovers had probably not done enough for the win while they had the strong wind behind them.

And so it proved.

The second half was all about the home side, although there were still fleeting counter attacks which could have come to more for Tranmere. James Norwood should have done better when he got on the end of a cross at the back post, only for the home keeper Jake Cole to save well.

On 61 minutes, perhaps the pivotal moment arrived, as Mellon opted to move back to a 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 formation to try and tighten things up and see the game out. Mottley-Henry was replaced by Jay McEveley. Unfortunately, the result of the move was highly predictable.

McEveley did initially make a positive impact, heading a goal bound effort off the line, but it was a stay of execution for Rovers.

With ten minutes left to play, the home side were finally rewarded for their dominance. Former Tranmere midfielder James Rowe, on as a sub for ex-Rovers loanee Shamir Fenelon, crossed from the right. McNulty could only half clear, and Fabian Robert gladly rammed the ball home from 12 yards.

From then on, there was going to be one winner. A string of saves from Davies had kept the home team at bay, but when six minutes of stoppage time were announced, you just knew Tranmere couldn’t see it out. Of all the times we have scored late goals when teams have time wasted, today Rovers would pay the same price.

In the fourth minute of added time, Jim Kellerman crossed the ball in deep and it somehow avoided everyone to creep in at the far post. Defeat, again.

It’s a worrying day for Rovers as the team languish in 15th position in the National League. Fifteenth position in the FIFTH tier of English football.

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