Monday Digest: Northampton, Crewe and imminent Buxton return


Tranmere came away from Northampton with a valuable point on Saturday as they head in to back-to-back home games this week. 

Here is a round-up of what happened at the weekend along with a look forward to the coming days.

Northampton reaction

Rovers were far from their best on Saturday, but another goal from James Norwood very nearly presented Micky Mellon’s team with another three points. As it were, a draw was just about fair, though the hosts were most definitely in the ascendency toward full-time.

Mellon was satisfied with the result after the game. Speaking to the press, he said:

“We’ve picked up a good point at a difficult place. We knew it’d be tough but the boys battled away and we’re a team that’s constantly developing.

“There are things we need to get better at and there are things we could have done better but, in terms of character and fight, to come to Northampton and get a draw is pleasing.

“We’re coming into a new level and we’re facing new challenges all the time so the players have had a right good go and we know there are things we’ll have to work on.”

Match report: Under-par Rovers take point from Northampton

Northampton player ratings

We’re trialling a player ratings system on the website and used it for the first time following the Northampton game.

Loads of fans have used it to rate the performance of the players in Saturday’s draw, with goalkeeper Scott Davies currently leading the way with an average of 8.1 out of 10.

He’s followed by goalscorer James Norwood (7.7) and skipper Steve McNulty (7.5). Mark Ellis is just behind in fourth with 7.3.

Dylan Mottley-Henry who was introduced as 57th minute substitute is currently the bottom of the pile with a 4.9 average. Cole Stockton, Manny Monthe, Jake Caprice and Jonny Smith are all below 6.

There is still time for you to submit your player rating versus Northampton.

Checkatrade Trophy begins

Tranmere return to the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening when they entertain Crewe at Prenton Park. Rovers have a proud history in the competition having won it in 1990 and reached Wembley in 1991 as well.

However, since we last competed in it, the tournament has changed significantly, including the entry of selected under-21 teams from Premier League clubs. Rovers will face one of the biggest of those, Manchester City, in a few weeks’ time.

Despite a nationwide boycott of the competition by fans of other clubs, both Mark Palios and Micky Mellon have stated publicly that they want to take the competition seriously and encourage the fans to as well. A Wembley final and significant financial benefits are available to clubs who perform well.

Adam Buxton nears fitness

In case you missed it at the weekend, defender Adam Buxton looks to be very close to a first team return. Buxton was one of Tranmere’s best players last season but missed the promotion final at Wembley after going off injured during the semi-final win against Ebbsfleet.

The same injury plagued him for the final weeks of the previous campaign and he underwent surgery earlier this summer.

However, he was kitted up and took part in the warm-up on the pitch with the team at Northampton on Saturday and looks to be nearing a return to first team action. He may even see some game time in the game against Crewe on Tuesday evening.

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