Tranmere Rovers made progress in the Cheshire Senior Cup this evening, defeating Crewe Alexandra 1-0 at Gresty Road, Stefan Payne netting the only goal of the game.
The result wasn’t the important outcome from tonight’s game, more so the returns from injury of Mark Ellis, Evan Gumbs and Ollie Banks, as well as match minutes for a number of players who have found themselves on the fringes of the first team in recent weeks.
It was a fairly strong team selected for the fixture, with the likes of Neil Danns, Darren Potter, Stefan Payne, Connor Jennings and Harvey Gilmour all involved.
There were plenty of positives to be taken from the evening.
Mark Ellis, in action for the first time since Good Friday 2019 some 10 months ago, played 45 minutes before being withdrawn at half time.
Ollie Banks, who has missed a large part of the season, got through 68 minutes while Evan Gumbs completed the full 90 in his second appearance after a 10 month lay-off.
Hopefully, all three will come through that unscathed, while those other ‘fringe’ players have upped their match sharpness and got vital munites under their belts.
Micky Mellon will need everyone as ready as they can be in what is a vital conclusion to the season, so these competitive outings are important to keep those individuals as sharp as they can be without first team involvement.
And we scored a goal! See, it can be done! Now to try and do it when it really counts, 14 league games to go to try and remain a League One club come May.
Talking about the league, the team directly above us, AFC Wimbledon, suffered a 5-0 defeat to Oxford United this evening.
It still leaves Rovers seven points behind the Dons and with now two games in hand over Glyn Hodges’ side.