Tranmere secure convincing win against Gillingham

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

Ahead of the game, Nigel Adkins said, “It’s going to be an interesting game. They’ve got a new manager. They were top of the league at the start of the season. Then obviously, like all teams, they had a little bit of a dip in form. This is a very competitive division; I think everybody would agree on that.

“They’ve got some talented football players at Gillingham. They’ve got some players who have played at a high level, who are talented on the football. It should be a good game for the fans to go and enjoy. Likewise, we’re going to focus as much as we can on ourselves and getting ourselves right in preparation for the game. 

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers v Gillingham

Tranmere Rovers 3v1 Gillingham
Apter (43′, 60′)
Jennings (53′)
GoalsMahoney (90’+1)
Walker (53′, 60′)Assists
HT 1-0

Tranmere moved two points clear of the League Two relegation zone, securing a 3-1 win against Gillingham at Prenton Park on Saturday.

Rob Apter seized an opportunity from a defensive error to open the scoring, delivering a powerful shot past Jake Turner just before the half-time whistle.

Connor Jennings, recently awarded a one-year contract extension, headed in a goal to further strengthen the lead. Apter then netted for the fourth time this season, marking the hour with another successful strike.

Connor Mahoney netted a stoppage-time free kick to narrow the gap, but Tranmere maintained control for a well-deserved 3-1 victory.

Nigel Adkins’ team crafted fluid passing sequences. A partnership involving Brad Walker and Regan Hendry positioned the latter in space at the halfway mark. Hendry then distributed a pass wide to Apter, but the opposing side defended staunchly, denying any chance for a goal.

The game started at a sluggish pace, although Gillingham aimed to create an opportunity. Mahoney, on loan from Huddersfield, launched a long-range effort over the bar at the 20-minute mark, and shortly after, Shad Ogie sent one wide from an even greater distance.

Walker then breached the Gills’ defence with a through ball to Kristian Dennis, but the forward’s shot across the goal missed its mark. Apter nearly set him up again with a pass, but it had slightly too much pace.

In the final 10 minutes of the half, Luke McGee made a remarkable double save to maintain the 0-0 scoreline. The Rovers goalkeeper first thwarted a shot with his legs and swiftly gathered a fierce ball across the goal with Tom Nichols ready to pounce.

Tranmere responded strongly with one of Apter’s trademark runs at the defence, cutting inside and unleashing a shot towards the goal. Unfortunately, this time, the attempt narrowly missed the far corner.

However, Apter did secure the lead for Rovers. Taking advantage of a defensive mix-up, the 20-year-old seized the ball and hammered it into the roof of Gillingham’s net. As the half-time whistle blew a few minutes later, the hosts entered the break with a lead.

Then, at the 53-minute mark, the lead was extended. Just two days after extending his contract until 2025, Jennings rose highest to head a superb delivery from Walker into the far corner, eluding the outstretched glove of Turner.

The hosts showed no signs of slowing down, and once again, Apter played a crucial role in adding a third goal. Receiving the ball from Walker, the young player turned onto his left and found the net with a low effort that deceived the Gills’ keeper, diving in the opposite direction. Tranmere were three goals ahead as the hour mark clocked up.

The visitors pressed forward, hoping to quickly reduce the deficit, but McGee made an outstanding save to deny substitute Tim Dieng before another attempt was blocked behind.

In the latter stages, Gillingham took control of possession but struggled to frequently threaten McGee in goal. Nevertheless, the Rovers goalkeeper had to stay vigilant, parrying away Ethan Coleman’s powerful effort from 25 yards.

The opposing captain, Scott Malone, attempted an audacious chip that was tipped over, and the ensuing corner was headed away. The hosts adeptly absorbed the pressure, safeguarding not only their lead but also the clean sheet.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t to last. Mahoney executed a brilliant free kick in added time, providing only a consolation as Tranmere held firm for an impressive 3-1 victory.

Tranmere visit Mansfield Town on Tuesday 28 November for their next game of the 2023/24 League Two season.

Match Highlights

Gallery

Credit: Richard Ault/TRFC

Fans’ Twitter Reaction

https://twitter.com/FerryLad/status/1728463506544922629


Post Match Interview

Line-ups

Tranmere Rovers – Formation 4-4-2
1 Luke McGee GK
2 Lee O’Connor DF
27 Connor Wood DF
5 Tom Davies (C) DF
6 Jordan Turnbull DF
4 Brad Walker MF
25 Robert Apter MF
8 Regan Hendry MF
7 Kieron Morris MF
14 Kristian Dennis FW
18 Connor Jennings FW

Substitutes
29 Conor Robson SUB
3 Jake Leake SUB
24 Dan Pike SUB
21 Josef Yarney SUB
11 Josh Hawkes SUB
23 Reece McAlear SUB
19 Harvey Saunders SUB

Manager
Nigel Adkins

Match Officials
Referee:
Marc Edwards
Assistants: Joe Simpson and Johnathon Bickerdike
Fourth official: Richard Woodward

Gillingham – Formation 4-2-3-1
25 Jake Turner GK
2 Cheye Alexander DF
13 Scott Malone (C) DF
4 Conor Masterson DF
22 Shadrach Ogie DF
11 Dom Jefferies MF
23 Connor Mahoney MF
18 Ethan Coleman MF
7 George Lapslie MF
8 Jonathan Williams MF
9 Tom Nichols FW

Substitutes
1 Glenn Morris SUB
3 Max Clark SUB
5 Max Ehmer SUB
45 Macauley Bonne SUB
17 Jayden Clarke SUB
38 Timothee Dieng SUB
6 Shaun Williams SUB

Manager
Stephen Clemence

Attendance: 5283

League 2 season attendance

2023/24 Total home attendance63269
2023/24 Total away attendance52594
2023/24 Total H&A attendance115863
2023/24 Average home attendance6327
2023/24 Average away attendance5844
2023/24 Average H&A attendance6085

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