Tranmere Rovers have another important League Two fixture this weekend when they make the long journey to the South West to take on Exeter City at St James’ Park on Saturday.
It’s tight at the top of the table. The Grecians sit in 5th with Micky Mellon’s Rovers in 9th, but there is only three points separating the two sides, making this game all the more interesting. Victory on the road could see Tranmere move back into the play-off zone, depending on other results.
Rovers go into the game full of confidence having seen an upturn in results in the past few weeks. After a run of three successive defeats, Mellon’s men have gone unbeaten in the last four outings with three victories and a draw to their name in that period.
Their form on the road has also seen an improvement since the turn of the year. One defeat in the last five away matches, that coming against high-flying Mansfield Town, has demonstrated a spell of consistency (in results at least) that they struggled to produce earlier in the campaign.
Wins over Cheltenham Town and, most recently, Port Vale have been impressive, and they’ll need to put in a good performance once more to get a positive result from St James’ Park this weekend.
The Grecians are up in the promotion mix once again having narrowly missed out on promotion for the past two seasons, losing play-off finals at Wembley to Blackpool (2017) and Coventry City (2018).
Paul Tisdale was in charge at St James’ Park for 12 years, but left the club last summer to be replaced by Matt Taylor, who has continued where the previous manager left off and built another strong squad which is challenging for promotion once more.
While Rovers were putting their feet up on Tuesday night, Exeter were busy in action at league leaders Lincoln City. Despite leading for a large part of that match, John Akinde’s injury time equaliser denied them what would have been a fine away victory.
Still, an impressive result nonetheless, and made all the more impressive by the fact that Taylor is missing five key first team players from his side, a fact which is unlikely to change for Rovers’ visit on Saturday.
Troy Brown, Luke Croll, Dean Moxey, Nicky Law and Lee Martin have all been on the treatment table of late, and although Law and Martin are edging closer to a return, it is thought that the match against Tranmere will be too soon for them.
Taylor could call upon midfielder Hiram Boateng who made a return to action at Lincoln in midweek. He came on as a second half substitute and is likely to line up on the bench once against when Rovers come to town.
The game sees a return to St James’ Park for 24-goal striker James Norwood who began his professional career with the Devon, making five appearances.
Both clubs need the points in the push for promotion and play-offs, so it’s all set to be an exciting and entertaining afternoon in the South West.