Tranmere beaten by Manchester City U21 thanks to Matondo goal


Tranmere’s participation in the Checkatrade Trophy is officially over for the season following a 1-0 defeat at home to Man City U21s last night.

Rovers were already out of the competition before last night’s game but missed out on the opportunity to record a win to secure £10k prize money.

Micky Mellon made a whole host of changes for the match, with Shamal George, Mark Ellis, Zoumana Bakayogo, Jay Harris, Jonny Smith, Ben Tollitt, Harvey Gilmour and Franklyn Akammadu all coming back in to the starting eleven.

Franklyn Akammadu wrestles back possession for Tranmere against Manchester City (Photo by Richard Ault/Tranmere Rovers)

Rovers actually put in a decent performance and had chances to score themselves. While City attacked with pace, Rovers won the physical battles throughout the game, but in the first half especially. Akammadu was a handful upfront at times, Tollitt looked really lively and Jay Harris was typically tenacious.

The deciding moment came early in the second half. Wales under-21 winger Rabbi Matondo broke clear inside of full-back Buxton and ran through to the edge of the box. George raced out to meet him but the youngster calmly slotted the ball underneath him and in to the net.

Rabbi Matondo of Manchester City celebrates scoring during the Checkatrade Trophy game between Tranmere Rovers and Manchester City U21 (Photo by Richard Ault/Tranmere Rovers)

City grew in confidence after that and had a spell of 10-15 minutes in which they looked excellent, but Rovers would come again. Mostly playing on the break, Tranmere tried to attack for a late equaliser but didn’t quite have the quality in the final third to grab the goal.

With some abysmal refereeing and quite pointless time-wasting from the City keeper, the game fizzled out in to a home defeat for Rovers.

Now that’s out of the way, time to focus back on the league campaign and an exciting game at home to Exeter City on Saturday.

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