Tranmere Triumphant In Promotion Rival Encounter


Tranmere Rovers closed the gap to the automatic promotion places with victory over fellow promotion chasers MK Dons at Prenton Park.

Goals from David Perkins and Connor Jennings, either side of a Kieran Agard equaliser for the Dons, gave Micky Mellon’s men all three points.

Ben Pringle was the only change to the Tranmere team, the on-loan Preston North End man coming in to replace Jonny Smith.

The visitors started well and had the first opportunity on goal with a goalmouth scramble which the Rovers rearguard finally managed to clear away from danger despite the best efforts of Kieran Agard looking to add to his impressive goal tally for the season.

The division’s leading goalscorer James Norwood had the next shot on goal, timing his run perfectly, he got on the end of a delighted through ball by Kieran Morris and fired in a low shot which Dons goalkeeper Lee Nicholls did well to parry.

Chuks Aneke was the next player to have a shooting opportunity. The MK Dons front man, perhaps with a point to prove after being a substitute for his team’s previous four fixtures, got himself clear but sliced his shot into the Kop under pressure from Mark Ellis.

Norwood was again looking a threat in and around the penalty area and after linking well with Connor Jennings, he came close to finding his 30th goal of the season when he caught an effort sweetly from 20 yards only for Nicholls to be equal to it and turn it past the post.

The opening goal came on the half hour mark and in some style. A left wing corner was only half cleared by the MK Dons defence and it sat up nicely for David Perkins to volley home from the edge of the penalty area to give Tranmere the lead.

The advantage was short-lived however as Dons drew level soon after. Jake Hesketh did well down the right and his cross was pinpoint accurate for Kieran Agard to nod home from close range.

Jay Harris came on to replace injured goalscorer Perkins immediately after the equaliser, a worrying sight for Rovers supporters to see the midfielder limping off.

It was Harris who had Tranmere’s next attempt on goal but a shot from distance lacked power and Nicholls made a regulation save before, at the other end, Scott Davies was brought into action to deny Hesketh as the sides went in at the break tied at 1-1.

It was a competitive start to the second half with Rovers beginning to build pressure on the MK Dons goal, forcing a number of corners.

That pressure told on 62 minutes when Rovers regained the lead. And once again, it was a stylish goal.

Ollie Banks fed Ben Pringle down the left, and the winger’s cross was judged to perfection, finding Connor Jennings at the back post who steered a header past Nicholls.

Norwood continued his quest for goal number 30 for the season, and he outmuscled the Dons defence until a remarkable recovery from Callum Brittain denied him getting his shot away when he was in prime position.

Dons went looking for an equaliser but the Rovers rearguard kept them at bay, Scott Davies not being brought into action other than taking the odd goal kick in the latter stages of the game.

There were bodies on the line to block shots, tackles going in when danger looked imminent and then when in possession in the opposition half, Rovers kept the ball well to deny Dons getting any momentum going.

A big, big three points and it draws Tranmere closer to the top three with four matches remaining. The dream remains well and truly alive, with a worse case scenario of the play-offs now almost guaranteed.

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