Match Report

 

Sat 25 Sep 10

The U's grabbed their first home win of the season on Saturday as they saw off Tranmere by a 3-1 scoreline.

The result was every bit as comfortable as it looked, with the U's scoring three goals within the first half hour, aided by some disappointing Tranmere defending.

Whilst the U's didn't find their fluency in the second period, they could have added more as Wordsworth missed a penalty.

But they were always comfortable against Rovers and now remain the only unbeaten side in League One.

The eight game unbeaten stretch at the start of the season is now the U's best in a league campaign and they are now well placed in the promotion pack.

The U's made one change to the side that drew with Southampton as Paul Reid replaced Pat Baldwin at the back as the experienced central defender failed to recover from his ankle injury sustained at St Mary's.

The U's got their noses in front with just six minutes on the clock.

Rovers failed to fully clear a corner fully and, after Perkins shot from the edge of the box hit Mooney, he got the ball under control and put a sharp finish beyond Gulacsi.

Vincent had switched over to the left and won the U's a free kick in almost a short corner position on the left on nine minutes.

Reid's header was blocked on the line and, as three U's players scrambled for the ball, Vincent on the stretch could only help it over the bar from four yards out.

Rovers were struggling to contend with the U's tempo and power, and the U's really needed to grab a second whilst they were in the ascendancy.

And they got that second goal with just 15 minutes gone. Again the U's won a set piece on the edge of the box and Wordsworth curled home his third of the season into the top corner.

The U's sensed goals and Vincent went close two minutes after the second goal. He rolled his man twenty-five yards out and hit a shot that the keeper fielded comfortably.

When called upon at the other end, the U's were looking solid, but Rovers were perhaps not always as fair in their defensive work, with the referee giving plenty of free kicks in the U's favour.

And the U's went three up on the half on the half hour mark.

Another set piece proved to be of benefit, as Wordsworth swung it into the danger area, Bond volleyed the ball into the ground from the right and Okuonghae got his head to the ball and nodded home past the exposed keeper.

There was confusion at the back for the U's ten minutes before half time as the ball got caught on the wind, Okuonghae and Reid both went for it - then left it - and then poked it away for a corner.

They dealt with the resulting set piece comfortably though as they continued to look comfortable in the match.

The U's broke in numbers on the forty minute mark, but as Wordsworth was just offside, Bond couldn't slide the ball into him. There were more goals in the game, though.

However, it was nearly Tranmere who got the next one.

As Izzet tackled one Rovers player, his tackle put Showunmi in on goal. But Cousins was firstly quick off his line, and then brave to block the ball to prevent the former Leeds man a clear run on an empty net.

Mendy went in the book for a foul on Bond just before half time, before one of the moves of the match.

Mooney picked the ball out and sent Tierney away with a delicious cross field pass and he was left disappointed as Gulacsi collected the ball with Wordsworth waiting to head home.

There were three minutes of time added on at the end of the first half and, although things went relatively quieter, the U's still had enough chance to add to their tally as Bond blasted over from the edge of the box.

The U's came out of the blocks relatively quietly after the break but, having seen off one Rovers attack, they nearly added a fourth.

Tierney slid in Vincent down the left and, as he corrected himself onto his right foot, Gulacsi was able to get out and smother his shot.

The visitors made their first change on 53 minutes as Ian Thomas-Moore came on for Akins to change things around up front.

The U's then had an appeal for handball as Vincent put Cresswell under pressure, but the referee waved things away.

There was a coming together off the ball as the duo bore down on goal and the referee spoke to Perkins before playing on.

The visitors were certainly looking livelier in the second period, and it needed Perkins' swift intervention to stop Showunmi sweeping an effort towards goal just before the hour mark.

A solid header from White as that landmark arrived almost got Mooney in but, for the second time in the second half, Gulacsi was swiftly off his line to head clear.

The U's hadn't had the chance to impose themselves, but always looked like they had another goal in their locker.

Wordsworth escaped down the left and it looked like Vincent might tuck home, but Goodison was in position to clear at the last minute.

From the resulting corner, Vincent was held away from goal, but managed to get in a shot that was blocked behind for another set piece.

Rovers made another change on 62 minutes as Fraughan came on for Mendy for the last half hour of the game.

Shortly after his introduction, it looked like Bond might get away on goal, but he was caught offside by the linesman's flag just as he went to shoot.

With the visitors showing more attacking intent, there was room in behind for the U's, and Wordsworth went to ground in the box as the midway point of the half approached, but the referee had no interest.

The fans were livening up the atmosphere to back the effort their side were putting in and they saw new boy Liam Henderson introduced on 67 minutes in place of Ashley Vincent.

Chances were at a premium for the visitors, so manager Parry would have been frustrated to see Ladabie smash a free kick well high and wide when his side were well placed around the U's area.

The visitors completed their substitutions by introducing McGurk for teenage striker Jennings fro the final twenty minutes.

Mooney showed persistence to rob Blanchard of the ball down the left and, as he escaped away to the box, he was felled by the Rovers man who went into the book.

The U's then made their second change with fifteen minutes remaining, goalscorer Mooney coming off to be replaced by Odejayi.

And Bond should have added the U's tally straight after the front man's introduction. Odejayi squared the ball across goal and, on his weaker left foot, the midfielder skewed his shot well wide.

A minute after that and it looked like Thomas-Moore might sneak in behind the U's back line, but Cousins was again well placed to smother the ball.

Henderson then picked a ball up in midfield before driving forwards and smashing a shot wide of the target.

The U's then won a penalty as Odejayi was pulled down as he went to get a Tierney cross and Wordsworth snaffled up the ball.

The midfielder stepped up to take the spot kick but Gulacsi was able to guess the right direction and save the spot kick.

And then the visitors pulled one back as a horrible mix-up sent Showunmi away on goal and he slipped his shot under Cousins to make it 3-1.

Ian Henderson was introduced as the game got back underway, as the U's looked to consolidate and see out the remainder of the match.

The U's nearly added a fourth as a powerful Odejayi run set up Perkins, who stepped aside his man and smashed in a shot that went just over the bar.

Welsh went into the book for a foul on White as the U's moved the ball around nicely, and they then spurned another chance as Odejayi broke away and sent the keeper the wrong way, only for it to hit Gulacsi's legs.

The U's create plenty of chances in their current formation and they converted enough to pick up a big three points ahead of another home game on Tuesday night.


    Data provided by Press Association

    Recent Match Reports