Date: 24th September 2006 at 3:41pm
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Tranmere and Nottingham Forest shared the points in a top of the table clash yesterday in a fairly disapointing game at Prenton Park. Nevertheless, Rovers unbeaten home record stays intact and they are still only 1 point behind leaders Forest. However, Bristol City have closed the gap to 2 points in 3rd.

Ronnie Moore kept faith with the same side that beat Northampton a week ago with midfielder Paul McLaren shaking off a knock that was reported to ‘definitely’ keep him out of yesterday’s proceedings.

Ward

Stockdale Goodison McCready Tremarco

Shuker Mullin McLaren Ellison

Zola Taylor



The first chance of the game came when Forest captain Ian Breckin, nephew of Rovers assistant manager John, slipped and handed possesion to Calzin Zola around 40 yards out. The Congolese striker made his way towards goal but he was halted with a well timed challenge just after breaching the penalty area.

Chris Shuker perhaps should have made it 1-0 a few minutes later, Zola causing problems for the Forest defence again found Chris Shuker who’s left footed strike flew over the bar from 12 yards out.

Forest striker Neil Harris had the next decent chance of the half as he curled a 15 yard right handed shot towards the top left corner of Gavin Ward’s goals, only to see the Rovers keeper equal to it as the experienced stopper palmed it away.

Rovers then appeared to get a grip of the game with Gareth Taylor’s shot deflecting wide from 25 yards and a Chris Shuker free kick forcing Forest keeper Smith into a save. The last notable chance of the half was Kevin Ellison’s thunderous free kick which Forest keeper Smith did well to parry.

There was still time though for Paul McLaren to pick up his 5th booking of the season which rules him out of the game agaisnt Huddersfield on Tuesday night.

Paul seems to have a habit of daft late challenges which result in bookings – it would be good to see Ronnie get this out of his game so we can see Paul fulfill his potential and dominate games with more freedom.

HALF TIME SCORE: TRANMERE 0-0 FOREST

The second half consisted mainly of half chances for both sides, most notably a close range shot from Kevin Ellison which flew into the Kop when perhaps he should have done better.

Both teams introduced thier main goal threats towards the middle of the second half with Chris Greenacre replacing Calvin Zola and Grant Holt coming on for Forest.

The ex-Rochdale target man began to mix things up, setting up Nicky Southall for a volley which hit row Z in the Cowshed. James Perch curled just over after 75 minutes as the game began to swing in to Forest’s favour.

Man of the match Gavin Ward then made another great stop to deny Holt’s 87th minute header and then scrambled the ball away from Kris Commons in injury time. W

With a minute left Ian Breckin rattled Rovers’ bar but the game ended 0-0.

All in all, a good point. Forest aren’t top of the league for nothing and before yesterday had won 3 out of 4 away games, no mean feat. Most Rovers fans would have taken a point before the game and with Chris Greenacre not fully fit, and Shane Sherriff missing out we should be pleased to share the spoils.

At the end of the day, a lot of teams will host Forest this term and lose. In the big picture, the resilience shown by Rovers could prove crucial.

The result leaves Rovers still just one point behind leaders Forest as we welcome Huddersfield to Prenton Park on Tuesday night. If we beat the Yorkshiremen and Forest fail to win at 7th placed Port Vale then Rovers will top the league come 10:00pm Tuesday night, something we couldn’t of dreamt of in our wildest dreams during the depressing times of last season.