Tranmere 2-1 Boreham Wood: Rovers win comes at a cost

Tranmere are sweating over the fitness of Jack Dunn and Ben Tollitt ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy quarter-final against Barrow.

The pair limped off injured during Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Boreham Wood, leaving manager Micky Mellon cursing his luck.

“It was a blow,” he said.

“We’re not a club who are full of wingers. When you lose those two, we’re putting Andy Mangan and Jake Kirby out there.

“They’ll do a job for you, but you’re losing the reason why you play the system – which is two out and out wingers.

“We’ll see how they are. We’ll let you know as soon as we know.”

Dunn only arrived at Prenton Park on loan from Liverpool last month, whilst Ben Tollitt has weighed in with six goals and plenty of assists since joining from Portsmouth.

They have been vital in a three game unbeaten run which has moved Tranmere back up to third in the table.

And their absence was very telling during the second half against Boreham Wood.

Both players are direct. They are not scared to run with the ball or take a man on. They have the pace and skill needed to provide that little bit of magic that can create an opening for a cross or shot.

Indeed, one Tollitt corner led to Andy Cook scoring at Prenton Park on Tuesday – a deep delivery which was emphatically volleyed home at the back post.

The other strike, coming after just 33 seconds, saw the forward bring down a clipped cross by Liam Ridehalgh before finding the top corner on the half-volley.

Without the pair, Rovers played more narrow and struggled to get as many balls into the box.

Yet they could, and should, have won by a much larger score line, with James Norwood missing a trio of chances that on another he day may have converted.

“It’s important that you get the results first and foremost at this time of the season,” Mellon continued.

“It’s about digging in and grit and determination now.

“We just need to try and keep collecting three points.

“We could have made it more comfortable for ourselves. There were a number of chances that we could have taken and put ourselves out of sight.

“But they worked their socks off and got another three points, and that’s the important thing.”

In truth, the scoreline was somewhat flattering to Boreham Wood. Tranmere were much more comfortable than the slender margin suggests.

They actually rarely had to get out of first gear, and perhaps that led to the sloppy nature of some of their passing at stages.

Scott Davies had to make a pair of fine saves, from Frank Keita in the first half and Angela Balanta after the break, tipping acrobatically on to his post at full strength.

And it was not until injury time when the visitors got their goal, a consolation from Bruno Andrade as he diverted a free-kick into the bottom corner.

That, naturally, led to some nervy moments for the home fans.

Perhaps that is down to the fact that Tranmere never seem to be able to put a game truly to bed.

Only twice this season have they won a league fixture by more than two goals – away to Solihull and Dover in October.

This team threatens to give a side a good tonking one day. Indeed, they were 2-0 up within 13 minutes on Tuesday.

But sometimes a full 90 minute performance is difficult to come by.

“We could have retained the ball a little bit better,” Mellon added.

“But we hit the post and had two one v ones which hit the goalkeeper.

“Then, you understand, playing here at Tranmere, people get a wee bit nervy or frustrated because they want to see more.

“That’s fine, we understand that.

“It just takes a bit more composure sometimes or to make another pass to get some control on the game.

“But I go home satisfied that it was a victory.”


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