Tranmere’s unbeaten run ends with defeat at Walsall

Tranmere visited Walsall on Saturday afternoon in their latest game of the League 2 season.

Ahead of the game, Nigel Adkins said, “Mat [Sadler] has done really well. Another talented young coach in League Two. I’ve been very impressed with the coaches and the teams that we’ve played have a variety of ways of playing. At Walsall they mix it up very well, where they can play out from the back, and they can play direct. They’re not one dimensional, so in that way it gives us challenges that we’re well aware of.  

“The supporters make an unbelievable amount of difference. You can see at home and away there’s a togetherness. The players know it’s special to play for Tranmere Rovers. The players are aware of how hard they’ve got to work on the training ground every day. They know how hard I’m expecting them to work on a matchday to give everything we can to win a game of football.”  

Match Report: Walsall v Tranmere Rovers

Walsall 1v0 Tranmere Rovers
Matt (64′)Goals
Daniels (64′)Assists
HT 0-0

Tranmere Rovers suffered a 1-0 defeat at Walsall on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of a second-half goal by substitute Jamille Matt.

Rovers started the match with enthusiasm, showcasing several smooth passing sequences. One such play led to Kristian Dennis delivering a ball across the goal, only for keeper, Smith, to gather it.

As the game progressed, the hosts gained momentum, with Oisin McEntee coming close to scoring with a header 20 minutes into the contest. However, Tranmere Rovers successfully absorbed the pressure from the home team.

Jean Belehouan, deputizing for the injured Tom Davies, played a crucial role in handling that pressure, executing a couple of vital clearances in the first period.

Five minutes later, Kieron Morris seized a loose ball at the back from Walsall and set up Dennis in the box, but Smith made a commendable save.

The most promising opportunity of the first half occurred at the half-hour mark when Donervon Daniels, for the hosts, fired wide from close range.

Tranmere Rovers experienced their best chance shortly thereafter when the captain for the day, Connor Jennings, fed the ball to Morris. Morris, in turn, passed it to Rob Apter, and Jennings narrowly missed poking it wide after anticipating a potential spill from Smith.

After both teams had decent chances in the initial period, the half-time whistle blew with the score level at 0-0.

Jamille Matt, causing trouble for the opposition after entering the game as a substitute at half time, propelled the hosts into the lead on 64 minutes with a goal from a well-placed through ball.

Tranmere endeavoured to secure an equalizer, nearing success with a free-kick routine, yet Smith managed to handle the situation.

As the second half progressed, Rovers made several substitutions, with Jennings coming close again, but they struggled to break through.

Despite a determined late surge from Tranmere, Walsall secured the victory with a slender one-goal margin.

Tranmere host Swindon Town on Saturday 23 December for their next game of the 2023/24 League Two season.

Match Highlights


Credit: Tony Coombes/Richard Ault/TRFC

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Post Match Interview


Walsall – Formation 3-5-1-1
22 Jackson Smith GK
5 Donervon Daniels (C) DF
6 Priestley Farquharson DF
2 David Okagbue DF
10 Tom Knowles MF
3 Liam Gordon MF
4 Oisin McEntee MF
25 Ryan Stirk MF
14 Brandon Comley MF
15 Freddie Draper FW
8 Isaac Hutchinson FW

1 Owen Evans SUB
12 Joe Foulkes SUB
19 Harry Williams SUB
21 Taylor Allen SUB
17 Jack Earing SUB
39 Danny Johnson SUB
9 Jamille Matt SUB

Mat Sadler

Match Officials
Alan Young
Assistants: Declan O’Shea and Simon Shaw
Fourth official: Ravel Cheosiaua

Tranmere Rovers – Formation 4-4-2
1 Luke McGee GK
2 Lee O’Connor DF
27 Connor Wood DF
21 Josef Yarney DF
30 Jean Belehouan DF
4 Brad Walker MF
25 Robert Apter MF
8 Regan Hendry MF
7 Kieron Morris MF
14 Kristian Dennis FW
18 Connor Jennings (C) FW

13 Joe Murphy SUB
26 James Norris SUB
24 Dan Pike SUB
11 Josh Hawkes SUB
23 Reece McAlear SUB
12 Charlie Jolley SUB
19 Harvey Saunders SUB

Nigel Adkins

Attendance: 5190

League 2 season attendance

2023/24 Total home attendance68950
2023/24 Total away attendance64205
2023/24 Total H&A attendance133155
2023/24 Average home attendance6268
2023/24 Average away attendance5837
2023/24 Average H&A attendance6053

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