Date: 27th September 2006 at 4:51pm
Written by:

Now, I`ve heard of ‘a game of two halves` but that was just silly!

Rovers were coasting up to half-time, two up over their Yorkshire Visitors. Tranmere played some great football, and Chris Shuker was running rings around the opposing defenders.

Second half though, least said the better.

Rovers were unchanged from Saturday`s line up against Forest, apart from Greenacre replacing the injured Taylor in attack. How many players played through injury I don`t know – although some seemed a little more obvious than others.

Stockdale McCready Goodison Tremarco
Shuker Mullin McLaren Ellison
Greenacre Zola

Unbelievably the attendance inside Prenton Park was only 6702. That after 11,444 were there for the visit of Forest on Saturday. After removing visiting supporters from the calculation that works out at about 4000 Tranmere fans choosing not to watch Tuesday night’s game. That’s just a little crazy. Remember, Brian Little isn’t here anymore. We’re good now, trust me.

Rovers started quite brightly, particularly on their right flank. Chris Shuker had a stonking first half. He was hauled down by Hudders` left back Adams early on, with the referee brandishing the former Macclesfield stopper a yellow card. It seemed from then on that Shuker was given a lot more freedom than he usually gets, and he made good use of it.

Two early shots from him were saved well by Matt Glennon in the Town goal, before the opening goal for Rovers on 11 minutes. After John Mullin had been crunched and layed on the deck, Tranmere played on. Shukes floated in a great cross from the right that was headed firmly into the net by our Congolese Striker Calvin Zola, who was incidentally playing on an injury once again, with a painkilling injection before kick-off.

Town came close to replying on a few occasions, and looked good from set pieces. However, it was Rovers who were to next trouble the score line once again.

Argentina, eat your heart out. A sumptuous move that must have involved about 15 Rovers passes from messrs Stockdale, Mullin, McLaren and Shuker gave Chris Greenacre his fourth goal of the season. Shukes was once again the difference though, with his turn of pace and quick ball up to Greenacre giving the former Stoke front man the opportunity to angle a low shot that crept in at the far post of the Huddersfield goal, after the patient Rovers passing down the right.

Greenacre had the ball in the Town net yet again before the half ended, but as he struck a brilliant fierce effort past Glennon the linesman had his flag up for offside.

Half-time score: Rovers 2-0 Huddersfield.

Huddersfield came out from half-time a few minutes early, looking resreshed and ready. They went 442 with Pawel Abott coming on up front to alter the teams 4-1-4-1 formation they`d started with.

Chris McCready took a knock shortly after the break. He was replaced by Aussie Shane Sherriff in the Tranmere back line.

Chris Shuker continued his electric play down the right and he soon found himself one on one with Glennon, with a few more Rovers players by an open goal should he had chosen to pass. He didn`t, and despite Glennon going the wrong way Shukes hit the upright with his shot. The turning point in the game? Yes, probably, but it`s hard to blame Shukes seeming as though he set up our two goals in the first half.

Pretty much immediately after that the visitors pulled one back. A long ball into the box from substitute Matt Young was dropped by Gavin Ward and Hudders` stalwart Andy Booth prodded home, making him joint third top all time Huddersfield goalscorer. It was a bit of a clanger by Ward unfortunately, and it did prompt a few fans to think what Substitute John Achterberg would have done in the same situation.

It`s hard for Ronnie Moore to know if or when to reintroduce Achto to the starting line-up. Ward has done pretty well, although he perhaps should have done better on a few goals we`ve conceded this season, including this one. Still, he scored against Orient, and perhaps Ronnie doesn`t want to reduce the goalscoring potential of his side!

Shuker once again missed a great chance, firing straight at Glennon, whilst the former Carlisle Keeper made a great double stop to thwart Calvin Zola.

Saying that, it was strange, counter attacking stuff, that got Rovers those oppurtunites, despite us being the home side. Huddersfield were starting to boss the play, they had the momentum.

They got their equaliser on 76 minutes. Scouse forward Gary Taylor-Fletcher picked up a deflected ball from the right and blasted home from 6 yards to beat Ward.

Neither side managed to net a winner before full-time ended, and the game ended 2-2. Probably the right result in all fairness, although Rovers had fashioned more chances throughout the game. They failed to convert them – and ultimately went to sleep in their own box, uncharacteristically, to give the Terriers a point.

A great shame seeing as though we could have gone top with the win, because Forest only drew at Port Vale. We played some of our best stuff of the season in the first half, yet bizarrely played some of our worst in the second period. Still, we`re in second place despite mounting pressure from sides below us.

Lets hope the lads thrive on that pressure as they travel to Bradford City on Saturday in what will be a very difficult game.