Two sides who didn’t live up to the Good Friday feeling meet at Prenton Park on Easter Monday, as Tranmere Rovers host Swindon Town.
In front of a sell-out crowd of over 13,000, including 800 of their own supporters, Tranmere were trounced by promotion-chasing Carlisle United, with clinical frontman Kristian Dennis netting twice to take his tally for the season up to 19.
Ian Dawes labelled his side as “poor” and “not one that represented Tranmere” after they inflicted defeat on themselves by making too many mistakes. A reaction against a side similarly in mid-table could do Dawes and his side the world of good as the conclusion of the season is near.
Swindon Town seemed right in and amongst the play-off picture up until late February, when they sat 10th and just a handful of points away from the top seven. They’re now 13 points away from the promotion places and another season in League Two beckons. The goals of Charlie Austin haven’t slowed down and he, like his teammates, will be looking for a reaction when they travel to Wirral on Monday.
Players to watch
Josh Hawkes (Tranmere)
Despite the goals drying up of late, Hawkes is a player who can spark a game into life with his tricky footwork and an eye for goal, which has seen him as Tranmere’s leading scorer.
Hawkes has netted eight times throughout the season for Rovers, matching Kane Hemmings’ goal return, three of which have come since the turn of the year.
A replica of his form which has branded him as a dangerous player and Carlisle will have to be at their best to keep him quiet.
Charlie Austin (Swindon)
Most Premier League football fans will understand the hype around Swindon Town striker, Charlie Austin, who used to be a clinical striker in England’s top tier.
Austin was renowned for his goals at Queens Park Rangers and Southampton, including being a fox in the box in the Championship, but in January, he returned to Swindon a decade after his last spell at the County Ground, and he’s been a menace too.
With eight goals in 14 outings, he’ll be hoping to extend that when Swindon travel to Prenton Park on Bank Holiday Monday.
2022-23: Swindon 1-1 Tranmere
2021-22: Tranmere 3-0 Swindon
- Swindon 0-0 Tranmere
2018-19: Tranmere 1-2 Swindon
- Swindon 3-2 Tranmere
Ian Dawes & Andy Parkinson (Tranmere)
With Tranmere yet to install a permanent outfit in the dugout since the departure of Micky Mellon, Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson will be stepping in temporarily.
Dawes, an experienced coach and Parkinson, a former Tranmere player, will be hoping to oversee their first victory in charge with the visit of Swindon to the Wirral.
Jody Morris (Swindon)
Former Chelsea and Leeds midfielder Jody Morris is into his first managerial job at the Robins.
He joined Swindon at the end of January and hasn’t had the desired impact he would have wanted, as the Robins lie 11th in League Two, but he’ll be hoping to turn his fortunes around.
Images: Tony Coombes/TRFC Graphic: Birkenhead News