Hendry goal not enough as Tranmere defeated by Walsall

Tranmere hosted Walsall on Saturday afternoon in their latest game of the League 2 season.

Ahead of the game, Nigel Adkins said, “We know it’s going to be a challenging game. This stage of the season with four games to go, we’ve got one or two little injuries, niggles, we’re going to have to deal with, which is fine. We’ve got a group of players who are all committed and want to do well. 

“We’re back at Prenton Park, the pitch is magnificent. As I said at the last couple of home games, some of the passing football we’ve been playing, progressive passing football, has been really enjoyable to watch.”

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers v Walsall

Tranmere Rovers 1v3 Walsall
Hendry (24′)GoalsMatt (45’+2)
Allen (57′)
Comley (68′)
Apter (24′)AssistsFoulkes (45’+2, 68′)
HT 1-1

Tranmere Rovers suffered a 3-1 defeat against Walsall in their penultimate home fixture of the season.

In the early minutes, the visitors had an opportunity as Ryan Stirk’s volley missed the target.

Thirteen minutes into the game, Rovers had their first significant chance when Rob Apter sprinted down the right flank and delivered a cross to Connor Jennings, who deftly flicked it to Josh Hawkes, narrowly missing the winger.

Tranmere came close again just four minutes later when Regan Hendry seized upon a loose clearance in Walsall’s box, but unfortunately, his shot veered wide of the mark.

Shortly after, Luke McGee made an outstanding reaction save to thwart Isaac Hutchinson’s attempt at the opposite end.

Tranmere seized the lead in the 25th minute when Hendry found the net, capitalising on Apter’s inside cut and a subsequent team effort that allowed the Scotsman to calmly slot the ball into the far corner.

Just two minutes later, Rovers nearly extended their lead with a dipping shot from Apter, but Jackson Smith managed to tip it over the crossbar.

The momentum remained with Tranmere as Reece McAlear came close next, hitting the crossbar with a free-kick from just outside the box before Smith could intervene.

Four minutes before halftime, Luke McGee pulled off a superb diving save to thwart Emmanuel Odegboyega’s headed effort.

In first-half stoppage time, Walsall found the equaliser through Jamille Matt, levelling the scores as the teams headed into the break.

Ten minutes into the second half, McGee produced a solid save to deny a shot from Stirk just inside the box, ensuring the scores remained level.

However, two minutes later, Walsall seized the lead when Taylor Allen’s long-range free-kick was aided by a strong gust of wind, nestling into the bottom corner of the net.

Taking advantage of the wind in the second half, the visitors increased their lead to 3-1 on 68 minutes, courtesy of Brandon Comley’s long-range strike.

With 15 minutes remaining, McAlear delivered a curling corner, which Apter met with a header that struck the far post.

In the closing stages, substitute Harvey Saunders directed a header wide from a corner as Rovers sought to reduce the deficit, but ultimately, the visitors secured a 3-1 victory.

Tranmere visit Newport County on Saturday, 13 April, for their next game of the 2023/24 League Two season.

Match Highlights

Gallery

Credit: Tony Coombes/TRFC

Fans’ X/Twitter Reaction

https://twitter.com/SterTrfc/status/1776644340175061113


Post Match Interview

Line-ups

Tranmere Rovers– Formation 4-4-2
1 Luke McGee GK
2 Lee O’Connor DF
26 James Norris DF
5 Tom Davies (C) DF
30 Jean Belehouan DF
23 Reece McAlear MF
25 Robert Apter MF
8 Regan Hendry MF
11 Josh Hawkes MF
9 Luke Norris FW
18 Connor Jennings FW

Substitutes
29 Conor Robson SUB
24 Dan Pike SUB
22 Paul Lewis SUB
16 Chris Merrie SUB
14 Kristian Dennis SUB
19 Harvey Saunders SUB
20 Samuel Taylor SUB

Manager
Nigel Adkins

Match Officials
Referee:
Sebastian Stockbridge
Assistants: Steven Rushton and Richard Morris
Fourth official: Thomas Harty

Walsall – Formation 3-5-2
22 Jackson Smith GK
21 Taylor Allen DF
2 David Okagbue DF
36 Emmanuel Adegboyega DF
12 Joe Foulkes MF
3 Liam Gordon MF
8 Isaac Hutchinson MF
25 Ryan Stirk MF
14 Brandon Comley MF
9 Jamille Matt (C) FW
18 Josh Gordon FW

Substitutes
1 Owen Evans SUB
5 Donervon Daniels SUB
6 Priestley Farquharson SUB
26 Ross Tierney SUB
23 Mo Faal SUB
11 Douglas James-Taylor SUB
39 Danny Johnson SUB

Manager
Mat Sadler

Attendance: 5849

League 2 season attendance

2023/24 Total home attendance138513
2023/24 Total away attendance133736
2023/24 Total H&A attendance272249
2023/24 Average home attendance6296
2023/24 Average away attendance6368
2023/24 Average H&A attendance6332

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