Tranmere lose at Fleetwood

Tranmere visited League One minnows Fleetwood Town last night in the EFL Trophy.

Match Report: Fleetwood Town v Tranmere Rovers

Fleetwood Town 2v0 Tranmere Rovers
Stockley (pen 73′)
Patterson (82′)
Stockley (82′)Assists
HT 0-0

In their opening EFL Trophy match, Tranmere Rovers succumbed to a loss as Fleetwood Town emerged victorious with a 2-0 scoreline at Highbury Stadium.

The two goals were netted by substitute players; first, Jayden Stockley successfully converted a penalty kick in the 73rd minute after Dan Pike received his second yellow card.

Subsequently, Phoenix Patterson hit the target with just ten minutes remaining, ensuring Fleetwood Town’s victory in the opening group fixture.

Ian Dawes introduced loan players James Norris from Liverpool and Rob Apter from Blackpool for their debuts.

Apter displayed promise in the opening half, creating challenges for Adam Montgomery. He skillfully navigated past the Fleetwood player, although his subsequent cross was deflected out of play.

After just nine minutes, Paul Lewis sustained an injury and had to be substituted with Reece McAlear due to the knock.

The Cods started to create opportunities. Danny Mayor produced an exceptional pass to Shaun Rooney, but he could only control the ball with his chest, straight into the hands of Luke McGee.

Brad Walker was subsequently called into action, making a vital block on the goal line as the hosts maneuvered the ball from a free-kick.

Kabongo Tshimanga, who was recently loaned from Peterborough United, posed the most significant danger for the home team. He managed to connect with crosses twice but failed to hit the mark. His second attempt struck the outside of the post and went wide.

McGee was summoned twice in rapid succession as the half approached its end. Initially, he swiftly dashed out to thwart Ryan Graydon, subsequently deflecting Tshimanga’s close-range strike wide of the post.

Rovers had a late opportunity in the initial 45 minutes, with Connor Jennings curving a shot that landed in the grasp of Jay Lynch during added time.

McGee carried his first-half performance into the second, commencing with a block of Xavier Simons’ long-range attempt.

Following that, Mayor unleashed a powerful shot that struck Tshimanga and deflected toward the goal, yet it remained within the reach of the Tranmere goalkeeper.

Apter, in combination with Pike, the latter surging onto the end of a delightful flick-on, but his shot was thwarted.

Mayor was once again thwarted by the fingertips of McGee, but the deadlock was soon broken when Pike was deemed to have fouled Stockley in the box. The Rovers defender was swiftly shown a second yellow card.

The Fleetwood man brushed himself off and coolly placed the penalty into the net to open the scoring.

The hosts’ advantage was quickly doubled. Graydon’s cross was cleared into Patterson’s path, who discovered the net, sealing the Cods’ inaugural win of the season.

Tranmere visit Colchester United on Saturday 9 September for their next game of the 2023/24 League Two season.

Match Highlights


Credit: Tony Coombes

Fans’ Twitter Reaction

Post Match Interview

Ian Dawes praised his side’s effort and commitment, but believes they lacked conviction, after their 2-0 loss to Fleetwood Town in the EFL Trophy.

The Tranmere boss was speaking after defeat in Rovers’ opening group match of the competition.

“I thought the lads’ effort and commitment was there today. We knew it was going to be a tough task, we’ve picked up another couple of injuries. Tom Davies is struggling with his back and we’re hoping that will settle down in a couple of days, and Joe Yarney had a scan last night on his calf and fingers crossed that comes back okay.

“With the changes we made, I thought the lads attacked the game really well. The application was right and we tried to play the right way, we just lacked a bit of conviction in the final third.

“First and foremost, we came here to win a game. We haven’t rotated [the squad] or anything like that but at the same time we needed to have a look at some of them. Up until the final third we played some really good stuff at times, we just lacked a little bit of punch with not enough shots and crosses fired across goal.  

“I thought Rob Apter did well today and we need to see how he can impact us. He was exactly what I expected, a little firecracker who can make things happen. He hasn’t played a full 90 since the second game of pre-season so he’s a little behind sharpness wise, but you could see his ability and he can make things happen in the final third.  

“There are players who need to play, but it just sums it up that Paul Lewis had to come off after 15 minutes after he felt something in the back of his leg. But we’re not sitting here feeling sorry for ourselves, we’ve got to now go and prepare for Saturday back in the league.”


Fleetwood Town – Formation 4-2-3-1
13 Jay Lynch GK
26 Shaun Rooney DF
3 Adam Montgomery DF
22 Aristote Nsiala DF
18 Harrison Holgate DF
17 Xavier Simons MF
19 Ryan Graydon MF
8 Josh Vela (C) MF
10 Danny Mayor MF
15 Junior Quitirna MF
7 Kabongo Tshimanga FW

23 David Harrington SUB
50 Finlay Armstrong SUB
25 Connor Teale SUB
11 Ryan Broom SUB
21 Cian Hayes SUB
44 Phoenix Patterson SUB
9 Jayden Stockley SUB

Matt Lawlor

Match Officials
Scott Simpson
Assistants: Daniel Woodward and Mark Ryder
Fourth official: Helen Conley

Tranmere Rovers – Formation 4-3-3
1 Luke McGee GK
24 Dan Pike DF
26 James Norris DF
4 Brad Walker DF
6 Jordan Turnbull DF
16 Chris Merrie MF
22 Paul Lewis MF
8 Regan Hendry MF
18 Connor Jennings (C) FW
25 Robert Apter FW
20 Samuel Taylor FW

13 Joe Murphy SUB
11 Josh Hawkes SUB
17 Rhys Hughes SUB
23 Reece McAlear SUB
7 Kieron Morris SUB
14 Kristian Dennis SUB
12 Charlie Jolley SUB

Ian Dawes

Attendance: TBC

League 2 games attendance

2023/24 Total home attendance28070
2023/24 Total away attendance16005
2023/24 Total H&A attendance44075
2023/24 Average home attendance7018
2023/24 Average away attendance8003
2023/24 Average H&A attendance7510

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