Tranmere Rovers 3
Jennings 35′, Cook 79′ & 82′
Torquay United 0
Despite an improved performance in the second half, United succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at Prenton Park. An opening goal from Connor Jennings, and a double from forward Andy Cook ended United’s run of three games without defeat.
Gary Owers named an unchanged starting XI, but new loan signing Axel Andrésson and Jon-Paul Pittman made the bench for United.
United were under the cosh for quite a lot of the first half. They also had to contend with the loss of defender Michee Efete in the 14th minute.
Before that, Liam Davis tested Davies in Tranmere’s goal in the second minute. That was to be the best opportunity for United in the first half. It looked liked they would be able to keep Rovers at bay, and frustrate them, but the amount of pressure would surely tell at some point.
United repelled a few Tranmere attacks before going close in the 7th minute. First Oliver Norburn, then Connor Jennings tested United. Dorel saved the first effort and Sean McGinty managed to clear. It was to be a sign of what was to come.
New loan signing Axel Andrésson got his first taste of action in the 14th minute when he replaced Michee Efete. Efete had to come off on a stretcher after falling battling with an opposing player.
A cross by Motley-Henry was headed in by Connor Jennings at the near post in the 35th minute to open the scoring. His header went in off the far post and left ‘keeper Vincent Dorel with little chance of keeping his effort out.
United were finding it difficult to cause Tranmere’s back line many problems. The home side dominated in the first half and the Yellow Army could only hope that United came back stronger in the second half.
That’s exactly what they did, but Tranmere were still extremely dangerous on the break.
United cleared off their own goal line on two occasions in the second half. First Luke Young, then Sean McGinty had to save United going two behind. Sandwiched between them were chances for United.
Sean McGinty couldn’t react quick enough inside Tranmere’s box once the ball had dropped to him. Then Josh McQuoid header over from a Luke Young corner.
United had squeezed forward and were playing the game in Tranmere’s half. They were enjoying more possession, and it was Tranmere that were showing some signs of uncertainty.
Gary Owers brought both Guy Gnabouyou and Jon-Paul Pittman off the bench in the 62nd minute. Pittman forced Tranmere ‘keeper Scott Davies into a save in the 71st minute.
Tranmere striker Andy Cook scored the goal that effectively took the game away from United in the 79th minute. He flicked home a low cross from James Norwood. He doubled his account for the day just four minutes later. Eddie Clarke produced a decent cross to allow Cook to pick his spot with his head.
Thank you to the 116 fans that supported the team on the day.
United (3-4-1-2): 30 Vincent Dorel; 2 Michee Efete [26 Axel Andresson 14′], 3 Liam Davis, 21 Alex Davey, 5 Sean McGinty (capt); 16 Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, 8 Luke Young, 4 Damon Lathrope, 13 Josh McQuoid [22 Guy Gnabouyou 61′], 10 Ruairi Keating [9 Jon-Paul Pittman 61′], 19 Jamie Reid Subs Not Used: 1 Ryan Clarke, 27 Jennison Myrie-Williams
Booked: Davey, Gnabouyou
Tranmere Rovers: 1 Scott Davies, 2 Adam Buxton, 4 Ritchie Sutton, 5 Stephen McNulty, 9 Andy Cook, 10 James Norwood [22 McDonagh 85′], 11 Connor Jennings, 15 Oliver Norburn, 18 Dylan Mottley-Henry, 31 Eddie Clarke, 32 Ollie Banks [8 Jay Harris 71′] Subs Not Used: 24 Hughes, 25 Pilling, 28 Gumbs
Referee: Joe Hull
Attendance: 4,569 (116)