Tranmere and Harrogate share spoils in entertaining draw at Prenton Park

Tranmere hosted Harrogate yesterday evening in their latest fixture in the 2022/23 League Two season.

Ahead of the game, caretaker manager Ian Dawes said, “The players are ready and it’s a big game for us against Harrogate who will test how we play because they will get after us. We’ll have to be at our best to go and beat them.

“The way I see it, you’re wearing a Tranmere kit and your motivation needs to be to win for the Club. They’re the demands that the fans have, the staff have, the owners have, and the Club have. “

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers v Harrogate Town

Tranmere Rovers 1 v 1 Harrogate Town
Oxley (36′ og)GoalsArmstrong (4′)
AssistsThomson (4′)
HT 1-1

In one of the most entertaining matches at Prenton Park recently, the spoils were shared as Tranmere and visitors Harrogate drew 1-1. 

Harrogate injected impetus straight from the off, pacing forward and getting a shot off within the opening twenty seconds.

Kazeem Olaigbe laid off Dannty Grant who spotted an opportunity to strike and he did, but the boot of Tom Davies thwarted the visitors on that occasion.

This proved to be a sign of things to come, as only several minutes later, the Yorkshire outfit drew first blood.

The pace of the Harrogate attack proved arduous for the Tranmere defence to deal with, and a venomous ball swung in from the right was met by the trailing leg of Luke Armstrong, who just beat his marker to the ball in the area. Armstrong’s strike flew past a hapless Mateusz Hewelt who could only stare in despair as the ball flew into the net.

Tranmere’s reaction to going a goal down was to venture forward and attack, but nothing of note came until around the half hour mark, as a looping Harvey Saunders header didn’t trouble the goal a great deal.

Armstrong seemed to be posing Harrogate’s biggest threat, with many shots by the visitor’s 29 were valiantly blocked.

Out of nothing it seemed, Tranmere drew back on level terms through a free-kick.

Fresh off returning from his loan spell at Chester, Rhys Hughes curled the ball over the wall, which cannoned off the underside of the post, before bouncing off the back of the unfortunate Mark Oxley’s head and drifting in, bringing Rovers level.

This seemed to lift Tranmere. However, despite the ball being in their half and many balls being hauled into the box, nothing of note materialised as the scores were level at the break.

On his return to the Rovers squad due to the unfortunate injury of Joe Murphy, the Polish Mateusz Hewelt was called into action early in the second half, in what was rare action on both teams’ targets.

Kazeem Olaigbe’s low drive towards the near post warmed Hewelt’s gloves before Luke Armtrong beat the Tranmere ‘keeper with his slot across goal, but his strike trickled past the post.

Tranmere urgency was upped and authoritative efforts were swung desperately at Mark Oxley’s abode, as a Jordan Turnbull poke goalwards was thwarted on the line before Mumbongo’s firm effort was denied by Oxley.

Harrogate couldn’t have had a better opportunity to regain their lead, but Hewelt in the Rovers net made his body big and produced another magnificent stop. 

A free-kick was laid off to the edge of the box into the path of Kazeem Olaigbe, who thundered the palms of Hewelt which was swiftly followed up by Jack Muldoon, who was identically thwarted by the returning Pole.

Hewelt was forced to grip onto another Harrogate chance, this time keeping out Olaigbe’s pivot from the edge of the area.

The substitution of Kane Hemmings, returning to the Tranmere side after many weeks on the sidelines, almost proved to be an inspired one, with him gathering the ball deep into Tranmere’s final third and driving forward. Unfortunately, his end product never matched his build-up play as the effort trickled wide.

As time ticked out, both sides needed to deal their final trick up their sleeves, and both had late efforts to win the game.

For Tranmere, a gaping ball placed into dangerous territory in the box was just about met, but then safety was restored as Harrogate averted the danger with a clearance.

The visitor’s most potent threat seemed to be coming from Kazeem Olaigbe, but his drive was denied by Hewelt, with the Polish shot-stopper making an impression on his Tranmere return.

Tranmere visit Carlisle United for a 3pm kick off on Friday 7 April in their next game of the 2022/23 League Two season.

Match Highlights


Credit: Tony Coombes

Following soon …

Fans’ Twitter Reaction

Post Match Interview


Tranmere Rovers – Formation 4-1-2-1-2
23 Mateusz Hewelt GK
2 Josh Dacres-Cogley DF
3 Ethan Bristow DF
5 Tom Davies (C) DF
14 Jordan Turnbull DF
6 Chris Merrie MF
24 Regan Hendry MF
11 Josh Hawkes MF
17 Rhys Hughes MF
26 Harvey Saunders FW
25 Joel Mumbongo FW
4 Lee O’Connor SUB
34 Florent Hoti SUB
33 Jay Turner-Cook SUB
27 Jake Burton SUB
19 Logan Chalmers SUB
10 Kane Hemmings SUB
32 Samuel Taylor SUB

Ian Dawes

Match Officials
Sunny Singh Gill
Assistants: Conor Brown and Abbas Khan
Fourth official: Ollie Williams

Harrogate Town – Formation 4-4-2
1 Mark Oxley (OG) GK
7 George Thomson DF
33 Matthew Foulds DF
15 Anthony O’Connor DF
34 Tom Eastman DF
4 Josh Falkingham (C) MF
18 Jack Muldoon MF
17 Levi Sutton MF
9 Daniel Grant MF
29 Luke Armstrong FW
10 Kazeem Olaigbe FW
21 Peter Jameson SUB
6 Warren Burrell SUB
3 Joe Mattock SUB
23 Rory McArdle SUB
28 Matty Daly SUB
16 Alex Pattison SUB
12 Sam Folarin SUB

Simon Weaver

Attendance: 5861

League Table

League 2 season attendance

06/08/2022Mansfield Town7128
16/08/2022Hartlepool Utd4072
20/08/2022Newport County4070
27/08/2022Colchester Utd5041
03/09/2022Leyton Orient6578
13/09/2022Bradford City5864
17/09/2022Salford City3175
08/10/2022Sutton Utd3007
14/10/2022Crewe Alexandra8001
22/10/2022Harrogate Town2316
01/11/2022Stockport County6800
12/11/2022Swindon Town9425
19/11/2022AFC Wimbledon6010
03/12/2022Northampton Town5,601
10/12/2022Grimsby Town5134
01/01/2023Crewe Alexandra5349
07/01/2023Sutton United5368
28/01/2023Leyton Orient5946
04/02/2023Stockport County10231
07/02/2023Doncaster Rovers5775
11/02/2023Salford City6516
14/02/2023Bradford City15482
18/02/2023Mansfield Town6282
28/02/2023Crawley Town5104
04/03/2023Hartlepool United6320
18/03/2023Newport County5496
25/03/2023Colchester United3420
31/03/2023Harrogate Town5861
2022/23 Total home attendance121635
2022/23 Total away attendance109340
2022/23 Total attendance (Home & Away)230975
2022/23 Average home attendance6082
2022/23 Average away attendance5755
2022/23 Total average attendance5918

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