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Tranmere match report
25 April 2015 18:15 Post ID: #71221
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We've only gone and done it!

Barring a footballing miracle in the last game we are now in the play-offs after a battling 3-2 win against Tranmere.
The result relegated Rovers to the Conference.

It was a nervy battle and credit to Tranmere for having a right go at us, ultimately the search for goals cost them the game at the other end with Argyle punishing them at the back.
All three Argyle goals had a hint of fortune in the lead up to each goal and well done to Reuben Reid for notching 20 goals in consecutive seasons!

It wasn't pretty but we did play well and had to contend with a revitalised Tranmere team who played better than a lot of visitors to Home Park this season, although they did lack a cutting edge up front. Jason Koumas (how old is he now?) ran the show for them and caused us a few problems.

We had the perfect start when Dom Blizzard was brought down in the area after just seven minutes, it didn't look like a penalty to me but we'll take it! Reuben rolled in goal number 20 with ease, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Tranmere wouldn't lay down and only a brilliant block from Peter Hartley followed by Luke McCormick saving the deflection kept Argyle in the lead.

We fell asleep at a short corner routine straight from the Tranmere training ground and Max Power powered home a shot from the edge of the area.

The Green nerves were settled soon after when Lewis Alessandra mis-controlled a clearance, just as the fans started to moan the ball fell kindly to Tarieq Holmes-Dennis who thumped in a 25-yarder. The play-offs were back on!

We did a professional job at the start of the second half, one thing that this team does well is keep their shape and the players did just that to thwart Tranmere.

Tranmere were now playing with just three defenders and were pushing up a high line. Credit to Sheridan because he realised this and brought on the pacy Zak Ansah who played on the shoulder of the last defender, the winning goal would come from this tactic.

We had a scare when McCormick was beaten but luckily the excellent Carl McHugh was on the goal line to head the ball away.

Tranmere were loading high balls into our penalty area but Curtis Nelson, McHugh and Hartley were magnificent, heading away at every opportunity.

Ansah missed a sitter from six yards out after a good cross from Kelvin Mellor.

With Tranmere now really pushing up (desperate times) one long good ball from Argyle would kill the game and sure enough Ansah beat the offside trap, I thought he was offside, crossed to the unmarked Alessandra who tapped the ball in. 3-1.

Soon after the fourth biggest cheer of the game echoed around Home Park when news filtered through that 10-man Southend had taken the lead against Luton. We were in the play-offs!

But this is Argyle and things are never easy. In the 89th minute Tranmere grabbed a late goal through Kay Odejayi and with five minutes of injury time the nerves were shredded around the stadium.

Usually there is a late scare in injury time, there wasn't in this game and we saw out the win. Play-offs here we come!

It must have been difficult for the players to not only overcome their own nerves but also to face a team who had nothing to lose and were constantly on the attack.
Our defence isn't one of the best in the Football League for no reason and today, despite the two goals conceded, it was the defence and McCormick who saw us over the line.
Mellor was also back to his best.

Well played, well battled!

A shame about Tranmere but relegation is decided over a season and not one game. Their and players lost "it" towards the end which is understandable.

McCormick 7, Nelson 8, McHugh 8, Hartley 8, Mellor 7, Holmes-Dennis 7, O'Connor 7, B Reid 6, Blizzard 6, Alessandra 7, R Reid 7, Ansah 7, Harvey ?, Banton ?
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