Date: 23rd July 2009 at 1:46pm
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Tranmere Rovers came from a goal down to beat a hard-working Southport side 3-1 at a soaking wet Haig Avenue.

New singing Luke Daniels started in goal for the visitors and George Abbey was given a second chance to impress at centre half. Alex Pursehouse started at right back with Aaron Cresswell and Ash Taylor making up the rest of the back four.

In midfield there were starts for Mark Allott, Paul McLaren, Alan Mahon and Charlie Barnett. Ian Moore started up front accompanied by Craig Curran. Chris Shuker, John Welsh and Terry Gornell dropped to the subs bench.

Tranmere stared the game with a high tempo. passing the ball around with ease and making Southport work hard to win the ball without really creating any clear cut chances. However, when Southport had the ball, they looked a threat to the Tranmere goal and they almost opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Rob Marsh-Evans had a shot deflected wide.

The non-league side then gave their opponents a real scare as George Abbey was forced to clear off the line from a Peter Moore shot. The superiority of the home side was rewarded on the half hour mark as trialist Gary Kinsella tapped Steve Daly’s center into an empty net.

The Sandgrounders’ didn’t lead for too long, however, as Alan Mahon’s left foot shot from twenty yards out arrowed into the bottom corner after some inricate passing from the visitors to raptuous applause from the visiting fans, who had made the short journey from the Wirral.

Tranmere thought they had taken the lead just before half-time but Craig Curran’s tap-in was adjudged offside. Half-time came without any further action in the first half and it was fair to say that Southport deserved to be level.

The second half came along and so did the rain, showering those on the terraces at Haig Avenue. The weather seemed to make Tranmere’s style of play more difficult but eventually the class of the League One side shone through and two goals from Ian Moore and Ash Taylor sealed what was a relatively comfortable victory in the end.

Moore found himself in the right place at the right time with little over twenty minutes remaining in the game to head home Mark Allott’s shot, which was going wide until his intervention after a goalmouth scramble in the Southport area.

Man of the match Taylor then made the game safe with his diving header finding the net from a Chris Shuker corner. Taylor was soon called into action by Southport trialist Chris Amadi. Amadi looked to be in on goal but Taylor got back and made a superb tackle to deny the frontman a shot on goal.

Rovers saw out the rest of the game to claim a 3-1 victory which was a fair reflection on how the game went. Tranmere’s next game is a home friendly with a Liverpool XI on Friday night; Southport travel to Marine the night before.