Victory for Tranmere in final home game of season

Tranmere hosted AFC Wimbledon on Saturday afternoon in their final home game of the League 2 season.

Ahead of the match, Nigel Adkins said, “For me, it’s just a shame it’s the final game at home. For me, we’re just getting started!”, he said.

“It’s going to be a tough game. Wimbledon are going to be tough. Johnnie Jackson was assistant manager down at Charlton so I’m really pleased the way he’s taken to management. That was always what he wanted to go and do.

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers v AFC Wimbledon

Tranmere Rovers 3v2 AFC Wimbledon
Saunders (35′)
Apter (45′)
Jennings (71′)
GoalsKelly (56′, 90’+5)
Norris (45′, 71′)AssistsChaaban (56′, 90’+5)
HT 2-0

Tranmere Rovers secured a 3-2 victory over AFC Wimbledon in their last home match of the season, with goals courtesy of Harvey Saunders, Rob Apter, and Connor Jennings.

Saunders, displaying his trademark vigour, made an early dash towards Nik Tzanev but was thwarted by a robust tackle from Ryan Johnson.

In the 20th minute, Regan Hendry delivered a superb pass to Saunders, leading to a corner. Hendry earned a free kick on the edge of the box for Rovers. He executed a quick one-two with Connor Jennings before unleashing a shot, which was blocked.

Rovers had another opportunity six minutes later when Saunders connected with a cross from Apter, only for Tzanev to make a crucial save, deflecting it for a corner.

It was Harvey Saunders who broke the deadlock for Rovers, putting them in the lead just ten minutes before half time. The forward charged towards Tzanev before calmly slotting the ball into the far corner of the net.

In his final appearance at Prenton Park during his loan spell, Rob Apter extended Rovers’ lead with a trademark cut inside from the right, finishing with his left foot just before halftime, marking his 13th goal of the season.

With goals from Saunders and Apter, Rovers went into the halftime break with a comfortable two-goal advantage.

AFC Wimbledon pulled one back eleven minutes into the second half, as substitute Josh Kelly found the back of the net past Luke McGee, narrowing the gap for his team.

Three minutes later, John-Joe O’Toole of the visiting team was issued a straight red card for a harsh tackle on Chris Merrie.

Approaching the hour mark, Josh Neufville tested McGee with a shot, but the keeper made a solid save at his near post.

On the 71st minute, Connor Jennings extended Rovers’ lead to 3-1. A deft flick from Luke Norris set up Jennings to calmly slot the ball past the goalkeeper, delighting the Kop once more.

With just ten minutes remaining, Luke Norris played another astute through ball to send Saunders through on goal, but Tzanev denied him with a save.

In the dying moments of the game, Lee O’Connor made a sprint down the right flank and squared the ball for substitute Kristian Dennis, but the striker missed the target.

Five minutes into stoppage time, Josh Kelly scored a consolation goal for Wimbledon, concluding the match with a final score of 3-2.

Tranmere visit Accrington Stanley on Saturday, 27 April, for their final game of the 2023/24 League Two season.

Match Highlights

Gallery

Credit: Tony Coombes/TRFC

Fans’ X/Twitter Reaction

https://twitter.com/happytyskie/status/1781726763522908492


Post Match Interview

Line-ups

Tranmere Rovers – Formation 4-4-2
1 Luke McGee GK
2 Lee O’Connor DF
26 James Norris DF
15 Ben Hockenhull DF
30 Jean Belehouan DF
8 Regan Hendry MF
25 Robert Apter MF
16 Chris Merrie MF
19 Harvey Saunders MF
9 Luke Norris FW
18 Connor Jennings (C) FW

Substitutes
13 Joe Murphy SUB
24 Dan Pike SUB
11 Josh Hawkes SUB
32 Ousmane Kané SUB
23 Reece McAlear SUB
14 Kristian Dennis SUB
20 Samuel Taylor SUB

Manager
Nigel Adkins

Match Officials
Referee:
David Rock
Assistants: Alan Clayton and Conor Brown
Fourth official: Lewis Raper

AFC Wimbledon – Formation 4-3-2-1
1 Nikola Tzanev GK
5 Kofi Balmer DF
26 Jack Currie DF
31 Joe Lewis DF
6 Ryan Johnson DF
19 John-Joe O’Toole MF
17 Ryan Mclean MF
4 Jake Reeves (C) MF
38 John-Kymani Gordon MF
24 Ronan Curtis MF
18 Omar Bugiel FW

Substitutes
13 Max Foulkes SUB
3 Lee Brown SUB
16 James Ball SUB
29 Aron Sasu SUB
9 Josh Davison SUB
10 Josh Kelly SUB
11 Josh Neufville SUB

Manager
Johnnie Jackson

Attendance: 6456

League 2 season attendance

2023/24 Total home attendance144969
2023/24 Total away attendance138285
2023/24 Total H&A attendance283254
2023/24 Average home attendance6303
2023/24 Average away attendance6286
2023/24 Average H&A attendance6294

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