Norris strike secures Tranmere victory over Wrexham

Tranmere visited Wrexham on Saturday afternoon in their latest game of the League 2 season.

Ahead of the game, Nigel Adkins said, “As I said to the players, whoever we’re playing, you’re representing Tranmere Rovers Football Club. It matters. It’s special. Don’t mind you making mistakes, as I said, be honest. Work hard. Graft. Be part of the team. Give yourself to the team. Do all the things that people might not appreciate in support of your teammates but have the confidence and the flair to play your game as well.

“The next game is Wrexham. Tough opposition. A team that will get promoted this season. A team that’s heavily financed and backed. They’re up the top of the division and they’re up there for a reason because they’re a good side. So, we respect that, but we’re a good side as well. On any day, we can beat anybody, we’ve just got to make sure that we turn up.”

Match Report: Wrexham v Tranmere Rovers

Wrexham 0v1 Tranmere Rovers
GoalsNorris (8′)
Assists
HT 0-1

Tranmere Rovers savoured victory on Derby Day at the STōK Cae Ras, clinching a 1-0 win against Wrexham.

Luke Norris netted the sole goal of the match on nine minutes, outmanoeuvring Andy Cannon to slot the ball past the stranded Arthur Okonkwo in goal.

Despite Wrexham’s persistent efforts for an equaliser throughout the remaining 80 minutes, Nigel Adkins’ squad stood strong, delighting the 1,151 travelling Tranmere supporters as they departed in jubilation.

The triumph upholds Rovers’ unbroken 36-year streak of dominance at Wrexham, lifting them to 14th place in the League Two standings.

In the opening five minutes, Wrexham’s attempt at goal was thwarted by Jordan Turnbull’s solid block in the box, while Norris narrowly missed the target with a shot for Tranmere.

Joe Yarney received a yellow card for a foul in Tranmere’s territory. Although the ensuing free kick was directed wide, Tranmere successfully nullified the threat.

Tranmere’s perseverance paid off early on when Norris capitalised on a long pass from Regan Hendry, shrugging off Cannon to slot the ball past Wrexham’s goalkeeper, Okonkwo.

The home side sought an immediate reply, but Luke McGee denied Luke Young’s long-range effort, parrying it clear of danger.

Tranmere earned a free kick just outside the penalty area when Connor Jennings was fouled. Hendry’s lofted delivery appeared destined for the net, but a crucial clearance off the line denied Nigel Adkins’ team their second goal of the afternoon.

Wrexham then enjoyed a promising spell, earning a series of corners, the last of which saw Eoghan O’Connell head over the bar.

With 25 minutes gone, Steven Fletcher had an opportunity in the penalty area after a slick passing sequence, but Turnbull intervened to deflect it behind for a corner.

Wrexham maintained control of possession, and several Tranmere defenders threw themselves at an Elliot Lee attempt to preserve the lead. The hosts won a corner, and Will Boyle’s header was met by McGee with a fine save.

Hendry received a yellow card for a challenge on Ryan Barnett, 30 yards from the Rovers’ goal. The home team pressed hard to equalize before halftime, with Fletcher’s attempt to beat McGee flagged for offside.

Norris attempted a long-range shot, but it was comfortably saved by Okonkwo after a deflection. Meanwhile, at the opposite end, Paul Mullin directed a header wide from a Barnett cross, and Fletcher’s shot was deflected over by Yarney.

Tranmere had to work for their opportunities and came close to doubling their lead just before halftime. Norris set up Rob Apter for a low cross, but Okonkwo managed to gather the ball.

As the half entered three minutes of added time, Lee was frustrated not to earn a corner when his shot from the edge of the box sailed over McGee’s crossbar.

Five minutes into the second half, Wrexham earned a free kick that floated into the box and caused chaos among the players. Fletcher unleashed a powerful shot towards the goal, but Lee O’Connor crucially blocked it, allowing Rovers to clear the danger.

Lee then attempted a first-time shot from a cross a few minutes later, but he couldn’t keep it on target as Wrexham continued to apply pressure. He had another opportunity when Rovers struggled to clear their lines, but Brad Walker intervened with a timely block and clearance.

Rovers launched their first significant attack of the half just after the 60th minute, with Wrexham needing to stay vigilant to defend against a series of dangerous crosses from O’Connor.

Substitute Sam Dalby came close to levelling the score, directing a header narrowly wide from close range as the clock approached 70 minutes.

As the match progressed, Tranmere found opportunities to exploit their pace on the wings. Saunders and Apter both had chances, with the latter narrowly missing the target as his shot brushed the side netting.

With just over ten minutes remaining, Jordan Davies curled a free kick wide, while McGee leapt to tip over a deflected shot from Lee that was dipping towards the goal.

Davies continued to seek an impact but missed the target again with a long-range effort. Mendy had a similar opportunity from 20 yards out but also failed to find the mark.

Saunders broke through on goal, courtesy of a precise through ball from Dennis, but O’Connell recovered well to thwart the attack.

Despite six minutes of added time, Wrexham couldn’t breach Tranmere’s defence, with Nigel Adkins’ side holding firm to secure a memorable derby victory in North Wales.

Tranmere host Crawley Town on Saturday, 23 March, for their next game of the 2023/24 League Two season.

Match Highlights

Gallery

Credit: Tony Coombes/TRFC

Fans’ X/Twitter Reaction



Post Match Interview

Line-ups

Wrexham – Formation 5-3-2
33 Arthur Okonkwo GK
29 Ryan Barnett DF
19 Jacob Mendy DF
25 William Boyle DF
15 Eoghan O’Connell DF
32 Max Cleworth DF
8 Luke Young (C) MF
20 Andrew Cannon MF
38 Elliot Lee MF
10 Paul Mullin FW
26 Steven Fletcher FW

Substitutes
21 Mark Howard SUB
4 Ben Tozer SUB
17 Luke Bolton SUB
7 Jordan Davies SUB
22 Thomas O’Connor SUB
18 Sam Dalby SUB
9 Ollie Palmer SUB

Manager
Phil Parkinson

Match Officials
Referee:
Scott Oldham
Assistants: Marvyn Amphlett and Karl Buckley
Fourth official: Joe Simpson

Tranmere Rovers– Formation 4-4-2
1 Luke McGee GK
2 Lee O’Connor DF
27 Connor Wood DF
21 Josef Yarney DF
6 Jordan Turnbull DF
4 Brad Walker MF
25 Robert Apter MF
8 Regan Hendry MF
19 Harvey Saunders MF
9 Luke Norris FW
18 Connor Jennings (C) FW

Substitutes
13 Joe Murphy SUB
30 Jean Belehouan SUB
11 Josh Hawkes SUB
22 Paul Lewis SUB
16 Chris Merrie SUB
7 Kieron Morris SUB
14 Kristian Dennis SUB

Manager
Nigel Adkins

Attendance: 12519

League 2 season attendance

2023/24 Total home attendance120912
2023/24 Total away attendance115727
2023/24 Total H&A attendance236639
2023/24 Average home attendance6364
2023/24 Average away attendance5786
2023/24 Average H&A attendance6075

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