Date: 15th August 2009 at 8:13pm
Written by: Sam Robinson

Tranmere Rovers scored 4 at home for the second consecutive game at Prenton Park to get their first league win under John Barnes and end Gilingham’s good start to the season.

Barnes made one change to the side that defeated Grimsby 4-0 in the Carling Cup tie midweek as Marlon Broomes dropped out of the matchday squad to be replaced by loanee Gavin Gunning at centre half. Charlie Barnett returned to the bench. New signing Michael Ricketts wasn’t included in any way.

For the visitors, manager Mark Stimson, perhaps unsuprisingly, kept faith in the side which hammered Swindon 5-0 on the opening day of the season. Hotshot Simeon Jackson was looking to add to his tally of 4 goals in 2 games.

Tranmere opened the scoring early on as captain Ian Thomas-Moore rose highest to nod Shaleum Logan’s right wing cross into the bottom corner to score his second goal in two games.

Moore almost doubled his tally and Tranmere’s lead when he latched onto a mis-placed pass but his 20 yard effort was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Alan Julian.

Tranmere were very much in the ascendency and nearly had a second but Aaron Cresswell’s cross and Alan Mahon’s drilled efforts were cleared by the Gillingham back-line.

The visitors were struggling to create chances but the Tranmere defence were coping well enough as Logan tackled Andy Barcham as he advanced into the Tranmere penalty area and Simeon Jackson’s surging run came to an end courtesy of Gavin Gunning.

Gillingham did eventually equalise 10 minutes before the break. Curtis Weston netting from 25 yards when left in acres of room. Luke Daniels was motionless as the ball nestled into the bottom corner.

The travelling side almost took the lead when Barcham raced past Logan but Gunning snuffed out the threat as Jackson was ready to pounce upon any opporunity.

Tranmere regained the lead early in the second half thanks to a stunning strike from John Welsh. He hit a first-time left-footed shot on the run from Logan’s throw-in over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.

The lead didn’t last for long as 6 minutes later, the visitors has hauled themselves level. Andy Barcham cut inside from the left wing and curled a beautiful shot past the despairing Daniels and into the top corner.

With time running out, the ineffective Craig Curran came off to be replaced by Terry Gornell. It turned out to be an inspired substitution by John Barnes as Gornell scored the fifth goal of the game to give Tranmere the lead with just under 20 minutes to go.

Gornell latched onto a loose ball and hit it first time into the bottom corner from 20 yards out to get his second goal for the club in a competitive fixture.

The substitute had a chance to wrap the game up at the end but his shot somewhat embarrassingly went out for a throw-in.

However, Tranmere got their fourth goal to seal the game and the three points in the second minute of injury time. Logan’s cross was headed back across goal by the impressive Gornell and Moore was on hand to finish things off at the back post for his second goal of the game and third of the season.