Macclesfield 1-1 Tranmere: Jennings desperate for second Wembley chance

Tranmere forward Connor Jennings has tasted Wembley heartache once – and he is desperate to make up for it.



The 25-year old was part of the Wrexham team beaten on penalties by North Ferriby in the FA Trophy final in 2015.

Rovers are now 90 minutes away from their first visit to the national stadium since defeat in the 2000 League Cup final after drawing with Macclesfield on Saturday.

That means the two teams head to Prenton Park for the return leg in five days all square.


Of course, getting out of the National League remains Tranmere’s primary focus, and some fans have even branded the trophy a hindrance.



But Jennings says that’s not the case for the players who are desperate to win some silverware.

“It’s a trophy and it’s at the national stadium, so obviously it’s a big thing,” he said.



“I’ve unfortunately lost in this a few years a go. I know how it feels.



“To get there again and be on the winning side would be amazing.

“I thought losing a game was bad. But losing at Wembley is mentally very tough.



“Hopefully I’ll get a second chance, which not many people do, to make amends.”

It has been a frustrating season for Jennings, a marquee signing in the summer when he arrived on a free transfer from Wrexham.



A knee injury picked up in September saw him miss three months of football, and he has been playing catch up with his fitness ever since.



One month spent out on loan at Macclesfield has sorted that though, and he nearly returned to haunt his former teammates at Moss Rose on Saturday.



A second half substitute, replacing the injured Steven Jennings, the forward flashed one shot just past the post and created an excellent chance for James Norwood which was blocked.

Rovers actually took the lead with just two minutes on the clock as Jeff Hughes scored from the penalty spot.



Macclesfield threw the kitchen sink at them in reply though, and were unlucky to get to the break still behind.



They finally got their reward after half-time, with Ollie Norburn tapping home after Tranmere struggled to deal with a ball into the box.


It was probably a fair result, but Jennings felt they should have got more.


“Overall we’re a bit disappointed,” he continued.



“But we’re going to go into the second leg one a piece, so it’s all to play for and it’s at home, which is a big bonus.

“It was a tough game. They did well against us for periods, but we did well defensively. It was a professional performance.

“We didn’t lose though. It’s 90 minutes to Wembley.

“It was good to get some game time during my loan spell at Macclesfield. I feel a lot better from where I was a month ago.



“Hopefully I can kick on now and try and get my place for the rest of the season.

“It was mentally very hard and tough, but I’ve had a serious injury before. I knew what to do.



“You just need to keep your head up high, work hard and when you get a chance you’ve got to try and take it.

“I think Micky’s main thing for me was to get game time. Now I’m back, hopefully I can get some game time here.”

For now, Tranmere must put Wembley to the back of their minds.



They first take on Torquay on Tuesday night in an equally as important game as they try and close the gap on Lincoln at the top of the National League.



Rovers are six points worse off at the moment, but Jennings is just taking things one step at a time.



“Every game is important now until the end of the season,” he continued.



“We need one big push. We’ve shown we have the squad. We need a professional performance and to try and get three points. That’s our only aim.

“We want to get both the League and the FA Trophy.


“You’ve got to take things game by game. We can’t be thinking of Wembley.



“Mentally we’ve got to prepare right for Torquay away and then prepare for Macclesfield when it comes to doing so.”

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