Tranmere triumph over Accrington Stanley with Josh Hawkes brace

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

Ahead of the game, Nigel Adkins said, “You have to give the utmost respect. John’s an experienced manager, what he’s done, how they’ve overachieved consistently. You have to doff your cap and say well done.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game. You’ve got to compete, win knock downs, defend set plays. If you give them time, they’ll play. From my point of view, be aware of their strengths, mindful of the surprises, but make sure we can impose ourselves on the opposition.”

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers v Accrington Stanley

Tranmere Rovers 2v0 Accrington Stanley
Hawkes (14′ pen, 49′)
Hendry (49′)Assists
HT 1-0

Tranmere Rovers returned to knowing the feeling of winning a game with a 2-0 triumph over Accrington Stanley at Prenton Park on Saturday, courtesy of a brace by Josh Hawkes.

In his role as interim manager, Nigel Adkins made two alterations to last week’s starting lineup against Crawley. Joe Yarney and Regan Hendry replaced Connor Wood and Reece McAlear.

Rovers had the game’s opening opportunity as Sam Taylor delivered a pass from the right that landed at Charlie Jolley’s feet. Jolley skillfully manoeuvred around his opponent before testing Toby Savin, the visitors’ goalkeeper.

Hawkes veered inward from the left soon after, compelling another stop from Savin, who deflected the attempt beyond his goalpost.

Rovers earned a penalty in the 12th minute due to a handball call, following Sam Taylor’s attempt to flick the ball over Accrington’s left-back, Rosaire Longelo, who obstructed it with his arm.

Hawkes took his position and held off until Savin committed to one direction before smoothly placing it into the other side of the net, giving Rovers the lead.

Accrington responded with some pressure, as Tommy Leigh fired a long-range shot following a delivery from Seb Quirk. However, Luke McGee handled it skillfully.

Rovers held their ground and countered by regaining control. Hendry narrowly missed the target with a right-wing free-kick, just wide of Savin’s far post.

In a significant turn of events, Jay Baghuelo received a straight red card just four minutes before halftime for a foul on Hawkes.

Hendry came close to doubling Rovers’ advantage with a first-time strike from a precise pass by Dan Pike just before half-time. However, Tranmere entered the break with just a one-goal lead.

Rovers indeed increased their lead four minutes into the second half, as Hawkes once again found the net with a long-range shot that took a deflection and nestled into the bottom corner.

At the hour mark, Adkins introduced a couple of substitutions, bringing in Chris Merrie and Harvey Saunders in place of Brad Walker and Taylor.

Tranmere maintained their dominance throughout the second half, playing some fluid football. Hawkes came close to securing a hat-trick, but his shot was expertly tipped over the bar.

Later, Jennings nearly surprised substitute goalkeeper Jack McIntyre with a long-range effort, but the young goalkeeper recovered swiftly.

Accrington crafted their best opportunity of the match in the 79th minute when Matt Lowe faced McGee one-on-one, yet the Rovers’ goalkeeper emerged unbeaten.

As the game neared its conclusion, Rovers regained momentum. Tom Davies compelled McIntyre to make a save from a corner, ultimately securing three points for Tranmere at home.

Tranmere visit Wimbledon on Saturday 30 September for their next game of the 2023/24 League Two season.

Match Highlights


Credit: Tony Coombes

Fans’ Twitter Reaction

Post Match Interview


Tranmere Rovers – Formation 4-2-3-1
1 Luke McGee GK
24 Dan Pike DF
6 Jordan Turnbull DF
5 Tom Davies (C) DF
21 Josef Yarney DF
4 Brad Walker MF
20 Samuel Taylor MF
8 Regan Hendry MF
18 Connor Jennings MF
11 Josh Hawkes MF
12 Charlie Jolley FW

13 Joe Murphy SUB
27 Connor Wood SUB
25 Robert Apter SUB
16 Chris Merrie SUB
7 Kieron Morris SUB
14 Kristian Dennis SUB
19 Harvey Saunders SUB

Nigel Adkins

Match Officials
Sam Purkiss
Assistants: Darren Williams and Garry Maskell
Fourth official: Christopher Husband

Accrington Stanley – Formation 4-2-3-1
1 Toby Savin GK
12 Sebastian Quirk DF
16 Joseph Gubbins DF
3 Jay Rich-Baghuelou DF
5 Brad Hills DF
22 Dan Martin MF
7 Shaun Whalley MF
18 Tommy Leigh MF
10 Joe Pritchard (C) MF
14 Rosaire Longelo MF
19 Josh Andrews FW

61 Jack McIntyre SUB
4 Kelvin Mellor SUB
25 Aaron Pickles SUB
2 Lewis Shipley SUB
17 Jack Nolan SUB
8 Benjamin Woods SUB
9 Matt Lowe SUB

John Coleman

Attendance: 5980

League 2 season attendance

2023/24 Total home attendance34050
2023/24 Total away attendance22440
2023/24 Total H&A attendance56490
2023/24 Average home attendance6810
2023/24 Average away attendance5610
2023/24 Average H&A attendance6210

Why not follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas or letters to the editor to