Tranmere exit FA Cup in seven-goal thriller

Tranmere visited Stevenage on Saturday in the first round of the FA Cup.

Ahead of the game, Nigel Adkins said, “We’re under no illusions. They’re doing really well under Steve Evans. What we’ve watched of them, they’ve used three or four different formations. The principles are there. You have to run. You have to compete. They’re big, strong and athletic.

“It’s going to be a competitive game. On any given day, anyone can win. We’re up against it, we’re well aware of that. However, it’s one game we’re looking forward to. It’s the beauty and magic of the FA Cup.”

Match Report: Stevenage v Tranmere Rovers

Stevenage 4v3 Tranmere Rovers
Roberts (3′)
Reid (58′ pen, 90’+10)
Hemmings (81′)
GoalsNorris (28′ pen)
Apter (55′)
Morris (90’+1)
Piergianni (81′)AssistsDavies (90’+1)
HT 1-1

Tranmere Rovers suffered an FA Cup exit due to a stoppage-time goal at Stevenage during the First Round on Saturday.

Luke Norris, who had returned to Tranmere after leaving the club in the summer, managed to recover from his injury and was included in the starting lineup.

In just three minutes, Stevenage took the lead as Elliot List delivered a cross for Jordan Roberts, who headed the ball into the net.

Shortly after, Paul Lewis took a shot from the edge of the box, narrowly missing the target as it went over the crossbar.

Unfortunately, Lewis had to leave the field due to an injury, and Chris Merrie came on as his replacement.

In the 28th minute, Rovers were awarded a penalty when Norris was fouled in the box. Making his return to his former club, the striker calmly slotted the ball home to level the score.

Stevenage tried to launch attacks from the wings, but Rovers maintained their defensive structure effectively, thwarting their advances for significant periods.

Rob Apter’s impressive runs down the right flank frequently left Stevenage defenders in awe and created a number of goal-scoring opportunities for Tranmere before the teams headed into the half-time break on level terms.

Shortly into the second half, Apter made a significant impact, placing Rovers in the lead with a superb strike into the top corner of the net.

However, Stevenage quickly equalized as Jamie Reid successfully converted from the penalty spot.

In the second half, Tranmere found themselves under sustained pressure from the home team and, in the 81st minute, conceded a goal scored by Kane Hemmings.

As we entered nine minutes of stoppage time, Nigel Adkins made a triple substitution. James Norris, Kieron Morris, and Charlie Jolley replaced Regan Hendry, Connor Jennings, and Rob Apter.

Morris wasted no time and swiftly equalized for Rovers just moments after stepping onto the pitch, making it 3-3 during stoppage time.

However, the hosts clinched victory in the dying moments of the match, with Jamie Reid scoring the winning goal ten minutes into added time.

Tranmere host Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 11 November for their next game of the 2023-24 League Two season.

Match Highlights


Credit: Tony Coombes

Fans’ Twitter Reaction

Post Match Interview


Stevenage – Formation 4-3-1-2
1 Taye Ashby-Hammond GK
14 Kane Smith DF
3 Dan Butler DF
15 Terence Vancooten DF
5 Carl Piergianni (C) DF
23 Louis Thompson MF
7 Alexander MacDonald MF
11 Jordan Roberts MF
10 Nick Freeman MF
9 Elliott List FW
19 Jamie Reid FW

12 Kristjan Hegyi SUB
17 Finley Burns SUB
25 Reece Hannam SUB
4 Nathan Thompson SUB
22 Harrison Neal SUB
24 Ben Thompson SUB
18 Harvey White SUB
29 Kane Hemmings SUB
26 Charlie McNeill SUB

Steve Evans

Match Officials
Neil Hair
Assistants: Joseph Stokes and Scott Williams
Fourth official: Aaron Farmer

Tranmere Rovers – Formation 4-2-3-1
1 Luke McGee GK
2 Lee O’Connor DF
24 Dan Pike DF
5 Tom Davies (C) DF
6 Jordan Turnbull DF
22 Paul Lewis MF
25 Robert Apter MF
4 Brad Walker MF
18 Connor Jennings MF
8 Regan Hendry MF
9 Luke Norris FW

13 Joe Murphy SUB
26 James Norris SUB
27 Connor Wood SUB
21 Josef Yarney SUB
16 Chris Merrie SUB
7 Kieron Morris SUB
14 Kristian Dennis SUB
12 Charlie Jolley SUB
20 Samuel Taylor SUB

Nigel Adkins

Attendance: 2404

League Two season attendance

2023/24 Total home attendance51525
2023/24 Total away attendance49046
2023/24 Total H&A attendance100571
2023/24 Average home attendance6441
2023/24 Average away attendance6131
2023/24 Average H&A attendance6286

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