Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 0 – 1 Shrewsbury Town

Callum Lang’s 20th minute goal ensures that Shrewsbury Town triumph against their former boss Micky Mellon.

The Wigan Athletic loanee notched and ensured Shrewsbury emerged victorious for the first time on the road since August.

Sam Ricketts’ side were given a helping hand from Rovers forward Connor Jennings who was sent off before the break.

Town made two changes from the side that were beaten 3-0 by Fleetwood. Aaron Pierre and Dan Udoh replaced Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Jason Cummings. Fejiri Okenabirhie was back in the matchday squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Former Town boss Micky Mellon celebrated his third year in charge this week, and his side were keen to award him with an anniversary present early on. Ollie Banks’ whipped corner was met by Liam Ridehalgh – but the ex Huddersfield man’s header was deflected wide.

At the other end, Ryan Giles’ delivery was aimed in the direction of Callum Lang, but the striker couldn’t trouble Scott Davies.

However, the Tranmere keeper was called into action soon after. He got down well to deny Ollie Norburn, and sprang back up to thwart Lang’s rebound.

The visitors’ positive start was rewarded with what would prove to be the game’s decisive goal. Aaron Pierre sumptuously controlled a diagonal free-kick, and fire goalward. Callum Lang was alert to divert the ball beyond ex Accrington loanee Scott Davies.

Tranmere’s response was instant, and Shrewsbury were almost haunted by a former employer. Stefan Payne spun his marker and whipped an effort goalward – Max O’Leary managed to claw the ball behind.

Then Neil Danns’ daisy cutter on a wet surface was well claimed by Max O’Leary, with Connor Jennings’ neat pull back providing the opportunity.

But that would prove to be Jennings’ final contribution, as the forward was given a second yellow card for a late challenge on Dan Udoh.

Shrewsbury attempted to make the numerical advantage count early in the second half, but Josh Laurent’s strike cleared the crossbar.

Town were in the mood for more as Ryan Giles bombarded forward, he had Callum Lang one side and Dan Udoh the other. The Wolves loanee opted to go alone but lacked the required composure to threaten Scott Davies.

Only a divine intervention prevented Sam Ricketts’ outfit from doubling their advantage. Aaron Pierre couldn’t connect to Sean Goss’ corner initially, but the former Wycombe defender had another crack of the whip, with a flood of Tranmere bodies stopping the ball crossing the line.

Scott Davies was earning his money as the Tranmere keeper continued to produce excellent saves. Omar Beckles’ fierce volley was acrobatically stopped by Davies. Ollie Norburn also cracked the post against his former side, as Micky Mellon looked a forlorn figure on the touch line.

But the home team did rally toward the end of the contest. Substitute Blackett-Taylor slotted a pass to Neill Danns, but the veteran midfielder’s effort was too tame and easily collected by Max O’Leary.

The former Bolton midfielder did make Max O’Leary produce a fine stop as the game drew to a close, whilst Jake Caprice lifted a long-range free kick over the bar.

But the afternoon belonged to Town as a professional performance was rewarded with all three points.

Shrewsbury face Newcastle United U21’s in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night, whilst Tranmere welcome Aston Villa’s developmental side.

Team Line Ups

Tranmere Rovers: (4-3-3)

1. Davies, 14. Caprice, 6. Monthe, 3. Ridehalgh, 7. Morris (80), 8. Potter (60), 28. Banks (75), 35. Danns, 9. Mullin, 45. Payne, 11. Jennings

Subs: 18. Hepburn-Murphy (80), 19. Ponticelli, 20. Gilmour (60), 23. Blackett-Taylor (75), 25. Pilling, 29. Walker-Rice, 33. Borthwick-Jackson

Subs Not Used: 19. Ponticelli, 25. Pilling, 29. Walker-Rice, 33. Borthwick-Jackson

Shrewsbury Town: (3-5-2)

25. O’Leary, 5. Williams, 2. Pierre, 6. Beckles, 17. Love, 28. Laurent, 22. Goss, 8. Norburn, 11. Giles, 9. Lang, 23. Udoh

Subs: 1. Murphy, 4. Edwards, 7. Whalley, 10. Okenabirhie (71), 15. Walker (92), 21. Thompson (84), 35. Cummings

Subs Not Used: 1. Murphy, 4. Edwards, 7. Whalley, 35. Cummings

Other League One Results

AFC Wimbledon 3 – 2 Rochdale
Accrington 2 – 2 Oxford
Doncaster 1 – 2 Portsmouth
Fleetwood 0 – 1 Ipswich
Gillingham 3 – 1 Southend
Lincoln 2 – 0 Sunderland
MK Dons 0 – 3 Burton
Rotherham 4 – 0 Coventry
Wycombe 3 – 3 Peterborough 7

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