Tranmere 2-4 Wrexham: Report

The pressure is continuing to mount on Gary Brabin after Tranmere suffered a sixth home defeat, this time at the hands of local rivals Wrexham.

Supporters called for the Rovers boss to be sacked as they watched their side humiliated against one of their most bitter enemies in a 4-2 defeat.

It sees the Wirral outfit knocked out of the FA Trophy, and extend a run of form to eight defeats in twelve games.

Rovers made three changes from last week’s defeat to Braintree, with Jake Kirby making his first appearance since a successful loan spell at Stockport.

There was also a re-call for Ben Tomlinson, whilst Michael Ihiekwe returned from the cold after a two-month absence.

Gary Brabin had hinted at change after last week’s disappointing performance.

But a second half collapse, adding to first half defensive errors, saw the game plan once again dismantled.

It took Wrexham just four minutes to take the lead as they quickly attacked down the centre of the pitch, with Ihiekwe and Steve McNulty missing tackles near the half way line.

Wes York then surged forward and although he thumped his shot against the far post, it rebounded into the net off Liam Ridehalgh.

A slow start was just what the Super Whites did not need as they conceded the first goal for the seventh time in eight games.

Far from letting their heads drop though, they proceded to throw the kitchen sink at the visitors, as chance after chance went begging.

Firstly, James Norwood rattled the woodwork with a deflected effort, before Rhys Taylor superbly saved Adam Mekki’s re-bound at the near post.

Tomlinson then should have done better as he shot off target from 20-yards, whilst Lois Maynard saw a penalty spot header saved.

At the other end, York could have made it 2-0 as he found space in the box to volley tamely at Scott Davies.

But the action was mainly in front of the visiting Wrexham fans as their ‘keeper continued to thwart wave after wave of Tranmere attacks.

He made two more excellent saves from Mekki, firstly denying the winger with a point blank range header and then tipping a bending effort from distance around the post.

And all Taylor’s heroics paid off as Wrexham doubled their lead with just a minute to go before the break.

For Tranmere, this is an all too familiar story – they had their chances, but failed to take them and were hit by a sucker-punch.

The visitors had soaked up plenty of pressure over a twenty minute period as they barely got out of their half.

But when they were finally allowed forward, the ball fell to Dominic Vose on the corner of the box and he whipped a vicious shot across Davies and into the far post.

This time though, Tranmere did hit back immediately.

A hopeful ball forward by Mekki was not dealt with as Maynard’s presence forced a mistake from Hudson.

Eventually, the midfielder squeezed the ball forward to Norwood, who lifted into the roof of the net from 10-yards.

That was the injection that Rovers needed – and it was no more than they deserved after a solid 45-minutes.

Unfortunately though, the momentum gained from pulling one goal back did not carry into the second half.

The visitors started on top after the break, with Mark Carrington and Vose both afforded space to try long range efforts that failed to find the back of the net.

That was just the precursor for what was to come though, as Sean Newton put the game to bed on the hour mark.

Rovers were opened up down the flank and failed to deal with a cross into the box, as Newton was left unmarked.

His first shot hit the post, but the rebound bounced back out to the Wrexham midfielder, and he slotted into the empty net to make it 3-1.

If that was not bad enough for Tranmere, things soon got significantly worse.

Davies made a double save to deny York and Connor Jennings, but Tranmere simply did not deal with the resulting corner.

It was lofted deep towards the back post, where Manny Smith showed more hunger to beat two defenders and nod home a free header.

That sparked an angry reaction from a Tranmere crowd who were once again threatening to boil over.

One furious supporter was hauled away from the dugout as he vented his anger at Gary Brabin, whilst the Kop suddenly found their voice.

813 visiting Wrexham fans meanwhile taunted the Super White Army, much amused by their rival’s down fall.

To be fair, Tranmere rallied, though the visitors had already got the job done.

Andy Mangan saw one shot saved, as did Norwood, before the latter netted a consolation, dipping past two defenders before firing home from close range.

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