Date: 3rd September 2006 at 4:28pm
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Tranmere moved up to second in Coca-Cola League One yesterday as their 100% home record continued with an excellent 3-0 win over Leyton Orient.

Ronnie Moore’s first 11 looks well in place as he again started 4-4-2…

Ward

Stockdale Goodison McCready Sherriff

Shuker Mullin McLaren Ellison

Taylor Greenacre


The first few minutes saw Rovers quickly out of the blocks amidst the swirling wind.

Chris Shuker had the first notable effort, curling an effort from 20 yards after the ball rolled kindly to him, his shot went narrowly past Orient keeper Morris’s post.

Things got a hell of a lot worse for Morris in the 9th minute when Rovers spectacularly took the lead. Orient striker Lee Steele was caught offside after a long punt up by an Orient defender and Rovers keeper Gavin Ward placed the ball to take the in-direct free kick, 75 yards away from Orient’s goal.

Ward struck the ball into the air, looking for Gareth Taylor, however the ball bounced on the 18 yard line and zipped back into the air over the despairing Orient keeper Morris and into the back of the net. The O’s keeper however did get a touch, palming the ball into his own net which resulted in the goal. With it being an indirect free kick, we are led to believe that if Morris hadnt got a touch then it wouldn’t have been allowed as you cannot score from an in-direct free kick! A confusing issue which will no doubt be cleared up by the F.A, however Sky Sports did put it down as Gavin Ward goal.

Whoever scored it, the fact remained, Rovers were 1-0 up.

Just 3 minutes later it was 2-0, ironic shouts of ‘shoot’ were made to Ward who once again punted long upfield. Shuker collected the ball on the right wing and cut inside the edge of the area were his shot was blocked, the ball fortuitiously made its way back to him and he then made his way to the edge of the box and cut a ball back for the patrolling Greenacre who shot across keeper Morris from 6 yards out and into the net to send the home fans wind and claim his second goal of the season.


Minutes later Tranmere could have been 3-0 up when Greenacre tried an audacious lob which landed on top of Morris’s net.

Rovers should have been handed a penalty in the 15th minute when Chris Greenacre was taken down by O’s defender Lockwood, however the certain foul was waved away by referee Whitestone.

‘Shukes’ should have made it 2-0 in the 17th minute when he ran clear through the O’s defence to go one on one with Morris, his sweeping shot beat the deflated keeper but not the post and sailed narrowly wide. How he missed, only he will know.

Gavin Ward’s excellent day continued when he got down to a 25th minute free kick and palmed the effort away superbly when it looked goal bound from Joe Keith.

Even though Rovers were effectively controlling the play the O’s did break a couple of times and looked a handy side when going forward, but Rovers were able to hold onto their 2-0 lead going into half time.

HALF TIME SCORE: TRANMERE 2-0 ORIENT

As the second half progressed Rovers looked to have taken their foot off the gas a little, but were never really in any danger of conceding even though the Orient strike force of Steele & Keith continued to work hard against the resolute Tranmere defence.

On 52 minutes Orient should have pulled a goal back, Alexander brought the ball under control well and from inside the area struck a fierce shot, which fortunately for Rovers smashed the side netting and went out for a goal kick.

Greenacre hit the post around the 70 minute mark as Rovers continued to look dominant.

A third goal did come in the 79th minute. A long diagonal pass from substitute McAteer fed Ellison, who in turn crossed for Greenacre. His inital diving header was well blocked by Morris, but the ball fell kindly back to the Rovers number 10 who firmly shot past the O’s keeper at the second time of asking to double his tally for the day and put Rovers 3-0 ahead.

Orient had a few half chances in the dying moments, most notably a header from Alexander which flew over the bar.

FINAL SCORE: TRANMERE 3-0 LEYTON OREINT

So, an impressive display by Rovers sends them second and but only for Nottingham Forest’s seemingly invincible run they would be top. A far cry from last season when Rovers fans thought attending games was more a chore than enjoyment. The infamous Tranmere floating fans also seem to be coming back, slowly but surely, with a 10% increase in the attendance from the last home game againsnt Yeovil, despite fewer travelling fans.

Rovers can move joint top for 24 hours next Friday if they can turn over Bristol City in a 7:45 kick off at Prenton Park.

With Forest & Huddersfield travelling to Prenton Park in September, and two tricky away ties at Rotherham & Northampton, the ‘Rovers Rollercoaster’ is running at terminal velocity, and we’re all loving every minute of it!