Match Report


Sat 30 Nov 13

The U's have been defeated 2-1 at Tranmere.  

A goal in each half was enough for Ronnie Moore's side, as the U's lost on the road for the first time since the middle of October. 

The U’s had the better of the first half but were left to rue a couple of missed opportunities.

On the half hour, a corner was headed goalwards by Tranmere captain Wallace and Ryan Lowe guided his header home from close range.

The home side dominated the early stages of the second half and were rewarded on fifty five minutes when Brian Wilson pulled back Akpa Akpro and Lowe converted the spot kick. 

There was a consolation for the U's in injury time, as Morrison scored to make it 2-1. 

Unsurprisingly, U’s boss Joe Dunne kept the same starting eleven that beat MK Dons on Tuesday night, but there was one change on the bench.

Sammie Szmodics didn’t travel up to the North West due to illness, and was replaced by new loanee Ben Tozer.

The U’s started on the front foot and earned themselves a corner in the third minute down the left hand side.

Tranmere were down to ten men for the corner, as Otsemobor had fallen over the advertising hoardings and had to wait for the physio to get round behind the goal to attend to him. 

Luke Garbutt whipped in a dangerous set piece but Jabo Ibehre could only stab his effort wide of the upright.

Two minutes later, another Garbutt corner caused problems, but Magnus Okounghae’s effort was blocked after Ibehre rolled the ball back to the U’s centre half.

A corner at the other end found its way to the far post but Akpa Akpro could only lift his volley over the crossbar.

Otsemobor had already been replaced after that early fall off the pitch and things then got worse for the home side, when Goodison had go off, to be replaced by Horwood.

On fifteen minutes, both teams were temporarily down to ten men again, as Tom Eastman and Akpa Akpro ran off to have stitches inserted into head injuries.

While they were off, Ibehre and Brian Wilson combined on the right, with the former hitting a shot wide of Fon Williams’ right hand post.

Dominic Vose was next to take aim at the home goal, but was well wide with his effort from just inside the box.

The U’s continued to create and the best chance so far fell to Ibehre after the keeper palmed out Alex Gilbey’s right foot shot from the edge of the box.

Ibehre couldn’t find the target, hitting the shot wide, but he felt that he had been impeded as he was shooting.

This chance seemed to wake the home side up and they came close to opening the scoring on the half hour.

Peterson cut inside from the left hand side but his low shot was well saved at full stretch by Sam Walker.

The U’s keeper palmed it clear for a corner, but was helpless as the home side scored from the resultant set piece.

Wallace headed goalwards and centre forward Ryan Lowe was in the right place at the right time to head home from close range.

The goal came somewhat against the run of play but it did settle Ronnie Moore’s side down and they were again on the attack a few minutes later.

A right wing cross found Atkinson in space but the Tranmere midfielder was stretching and his header was comfortably taken under his bar by Walker.

On forty two minutes, the U’s were within inches of an equaliser but McNulty’s header from a Garbutt free kick flew just the wrong side of the post for the U’s.

That was the last chance of the half and the teams trooped in for half time, with the U’s unfortunate to be behind at the break.

Dunne would have wanted his side to put the home side under pressure from the start of the second half but it was Tranmere with the first chance.

An initial shot was blocked but the loose ball fell to Akpa Akpro, who should have scored but shot wide of Walker’s left hand post.

A break down the left hand side then led to Peterson cutting inside onto his favoured right foot, but his shot was straight at Walker.

The early pressure from the home side continued and A dangerous ball into the box just evaded Akpa Akpro.

A flag was waved by the assistant referee though and he alerted the ref to the fact that Wilson had been pulling the Tranmere forward’s shirt.

Lowe calmly sent Walker the wrong way with the spot kick, doubling his and his side’s tally.

Walker was then in the right place to save a shot from Peterson, after the Rovers’ wide player had once again cut inside onto his right foot.

The U’s had been on the back foot and their first foray into Tranmere territory wasn’t dangerous for Von Williams, as Wilson’s shot went well wide of the target.

Joe Dunne made his third and final change on sixty eight minutes, throwing on Clinton Morrison for Gilbey.

The next chance fell to the home side though, as Atkinson shot from the edge of the box, with Walker diving low to his left to collect.

Tranmere defended their two goal lead well on seventy minutes, as Andy Bond and Craig Eastmond shots were both blocked.

Akpa Akpro then volleyed over and Lowe missed a great chance to collect a hat-trick, hitting his close range effort at Walker.

With the U’s committing men forward, Tranmere were looking dangerous on the break and Akpa Akpro curled an effort wide from the angle on seventy four minutes.

there was a chance for a U’s lifeline a minute later, but Macauley Bonne headed over a Dickson cross when well placed just outside the six yard area.

Horwood and Peterson then caused more problems down the U’s right, but Wilson eventually cleared the danger. 

Eastmond had a shot deflected wide with three minutes remaining and Bonne and Bond were denied but the U's couldn't find a way through. 

They did in injury time though, as Morrison tucked away a shot to make it 2-1.  

The referee blew his whistle after three minutes of injury time and the U's were left to rue those early chances at 0-0. 

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