Norwood Scores But Rovers Slip To Swindon Defeat


James Norwood netted his 20th goal of the season but it wasn’t enough for Tranmere as they slipped to a 2-1 home defeat to Swindon Town.

Rovers manager Micky Mellon stuck with the same XI which beat Cheltenham Town last weekend, meaning home debuts for midfielder David Perkins and striker Ishmael Miller. Connor Jennings returned from injury to take a place among the substitutes.

It was the visitors who began on the front foot. Marc Richards had a shot on goal well saved by Scott Davies before he opened the scoring on 20 minutes.

After a good move and spell of possession, Swindon worked the ball to the left wing and a low cross was converted by Richards who side-footed past Davies to give The Robins the advantage.

Rovers had a chance to equalise soon after. Home debutant Miller showed a sharp turn of pace to fly past his defender and charged down on goal. He stumbled, under a challenge from the defender before dragging a shot wide from 15 yards.

But the former Manchester City frontman picked up an injury in that collision and was soon to be replaced by Connor Jennings.

Sloppy play on 35 minutes doubled Swindon’s advantage. Scott Davies played the ball out quickly to Luke McCullough who lost possession just outside the Rovers penalty area to Michael Doughty. The Swindon midfielder took a touch before curling past the despairing dive of Davies to make it 2-0.

Adam Buxton was brought into the action to replace Mark Ellis before the interval and Jennings had a looping header over the crossbar as the teams went in at half time.

Tranmere started the second half brightly and soon reduced their arrears through the league’s leading goalscorer.

James Norwood made it 20 goals for the season when he connected sweetly on the turn from Ollie Banks’s right wing cross and sent an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net.

That turned the momentum in Rovers’ favour and Jennings fired over from a narrow angle before a flick header from Jake Caprice’s cross flew inches the wrong side of the post as the hosts looked likely to level.

But after a spell of pressure, Swindon made a couple of changes and it seemed to lessen Tranmere’s threat on goal and they, themselves, were a threat on the break.

Kaiyne Woolery used his pace to get in behind the Rovers rearguard only for Davies to make the save, before the Tranmere shot-stopper pulled off an outstanding save to keep out an effort by Jak McCourt from close range.

Rovers threw everything forward in the dying stages, with Manny Monthe playing as a centre forward for the final few minutes, but it was not enough as Swindon completed the double over Rovers.

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