Caretaker managers in charge as Tranmere visit Colchester

The Colchester Community Stadium plays host to two sides currently out-of-form and looking for a confidence boosting victory after their bad fortunes of late. 

Since the departure of Matt Bloomfield to Wycombe Colchester have started to slide back down the table, with relegation looming. Without a win since the start of February, a victory against a  similarly out-of-form Tranmere wouldn’t go amiss.

Tranmere are back on the road down to Essex in mid-table, on a two-game losing streak and without a permanent manager, as long-time favourite Micky Mellon lost his job.

The atmosphere turned exceedingly belligerent on Saturday, as Rovers were swept aside by lowly Newport at Prenton Park with many demanding an imminent change.

A day later, the Scot was relieved of his duties with Tranmere languishing 14th in League Two. With Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson stepping up as caretaker bosses, they’ll be hoping for an immediate reaction. 

Key Players

Noah Chilvers (Colchester)

Colchester haven’t got much to hammer home about in terms of quality in front of goal, as many have failed to live up to the billing.

Noah Chilvers is the U’s leading scorer, notching up five strikes this campaign. Last time out against league leaders Leyton Orient, Chilvers’ strike deep into added time proved to be decisive as it earned Colchester a comeback from almost nothing.

With a big end to the season coming up for United, his goals could take Colchester to relatively comfortable survival as they looked to stave off the drop to the depths of non-league.

Joe Murphy (Tranmere)

The veteran shot-stopper has brought his experienced head to the table, keeping Tranmere in many games with some man-of-the-match displays.

He’s been forced into goal-mouth action aplenty of late, as Tranmere’s astute defence has completely capitulated, and Murphy has denied most warning shots that come his way, excelling at making his body big, getting a strong hand to the ball and rushing out of his goal when needed. 

With a tense run of games coming up, it will be crucial for him to continue his fine form as we reach the business end of the season. 


  • 2022-23: Tranmere 2-0 Colchester 
  • 2021-22: Colchester 1-0 Tranmere
  • Tranmere 2-0 Colchester 
  • 2020-21: Tranmere 0-0 Colchester 
  • Colchester 2-2 Tranmere


Ben Garner (Colchester)

Garner started out as an academy coach at Crystal Palace back in 2004, where he was then promoted to the first team after impressing. 

A spell out at West Brom before a cameo in the Indian Super League with ATK was monitored closely by many EFL clubs. 

Bristol Rovers took a point in late 2019, as Garner became the head coach at the Gas, where we lasted a year before being relieved of his duties as Rovers were lingering perilously above the drop zone. 

He joined Swindon, who were desperate to return to League One at the first time of asking and after finishing fifth, they couldn’t over-come the eventual winners Port Vale in the semi-finals. 

An unsuccessful spell at Charlton came before he joined Colchester, with Garner unable to win any games since his arrival. 

Garner, who likes to play an attacking brand of football, looks to chalk up his first three points as the U’s boss against 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 have the desired first impact as Rovers travel down to Essex. 


Why not follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? You can also send story ideas to

Share this

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Facebook comments

Latest news