Cards travel to promotion favourites
2:11pm, Sun 6th Aug 2017
Tranmere Rovers v Woking
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 8 August 2017
The Cards could not have been handed a tougher first away trip, with Rovers tipped for automatic promotion. But they will travel to Prenton Park in good spirits after their well-deserved opening day win over Gateshead on Saturday and, as Anthony Limbrick has pointed out, the pressure will all be on Tranmere to perform.
Anthony Limbrick got off to a flyer on Saturday as his new-look side grabbed all three points, putting in an impressive performance in the process. The defence was very solid, leaving Nathan Baxter with very little to do: the Gateshead goal resulted from a deflection. Richard Orlu and Josh Staunton were assured in central defence, with the latter making an exceptional sliding block at one point to foil Gatesheadâ€™s dangerous Danny Johnson. Nathan Ralph had an excellent game, both defensively and going forward, linking well with the outstanding â€˜man of the matchâ€™, Joe Ward. Louis Ramsay at right back looked a fine acquisition, with good positioning and quick recovery. Joey Jones and Chez Isaac were influential in giving the side some momentum out of defence. Bobson Bawling, though not making much headway down the flank, worked hard, tackled back effectively and had a hand in both Wokingâ€™s goals. Innih Effiong also worked tirelessly, proving an effective target man, with his persistence paying off with the opening goal. Fabio Saraivaâ€™s injury cut short a promising start but Charlie Carter proved an able substitute, with some astute touches and plenty of energy. Jamie Philpot only had time for a cameo appearance but looked confident.
The side also impressed with their work rate and organisation. Almost the only downside was that the failure to grab a third goal early in the second half made for a somewhat nervous ending as Gateshead inevitably threw a lot of balls into the box but, thanks to some determined defending, they created very few chances.
Once more Rovers start their third season in the Conference National as the bookiesâ€™ favourite for automatic promotion but their fans must be anxious that they will miss out again, having finished in 6th place in their first campaign and then being beaten in last seasonâ€™s play-off final by Forest Green Rovers.
When you look at the size and quality of Roversâ€™ squad, coupled with the strength of their support, itâ€™s no surprise that they are strongly tipped for automatic promotion. Manager Micky Mellon has made some promising looking signings this summer, including: striker James Alabi, aged 22, brought in from Chester, for whom he netted 23 times in 53 games, and who grabbed five goals in his first friendly outing; Elliot Rokka, a 21-year-old winger, who was originally at Manchester Unitedâ€™s Academy and who had a spell at Macclesfield Town before impressing for Radcliffe Borough; 6â€™4â€�striker George Waring, who was in Stoke Cityâ€™s Academy and who subsequently had loan spells with Barnsley, Shrewsbury (when Mellon was manager there) and Carlisle United; former England U19 striker, and Liverpool trainee, Jack Dunn, who had a loan spell at Prenton Park last year; and highly experienced defender, former Scottish international, Jay McEveley, who played for Blackburn Rovers and Derby in the Premiership but who has most recently appeared for Ross County.
Anthony Limbrick must look at Tranmereâ€™s striking options with envy for, in addition to the new arrivals, Mellon can also call on England C striker James Norwood, Andy Mangan, former Barrow top scorer Andy Cook and exciting winger Ben Tollitt amongst other attack-minded players, while at the back there is of course the redoubtable Steve McNulty and a fine keeper in Scott Davies. However, Rovers will be without both McNulty and Norwood on Tuesday, both having received red cards in Tranmereâ€™s 0-0 draw at Torquay United on Saturday.
Tranmere Rovers FC
Prenton Road West
Official website: www.tranmereroversfc.co.uk
The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game, nor to the following Saturdayâ€™s game at Barrow.
The Tranmere Rovers official site gives the following directions by car for fans travelling from the south: M6, M56 and M53 to J4. Take the fourth exit from the roundabout onto the B5151 (Mount Road). Continue for 2.5 miles when Mount Road becomes Storeton Road and turn right onto Prenton Road West at traffic lights. The ground is on the righthand side in 200 yards.
As regards parking, the website offers the following information: There is a very large car park at the ground which costs Â£5 per car per game. Car park tickets can be purchased in advance from the Ticket Office on 03330144452 and online at www.trfctickets.co.uk. Beware of a residentsâ€™ parking scheme which is in operation around on many roads around the ground.
A train trip from Woking would obviously require an overnight stop.
Take the train to Liverpool Lime Street. The quickest route is direct from Euston but you may find cheaper options e.g. by travelling via Crewe. Check out www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.trainline.com
The Tranmere official site gives the following advice for getting to the ground from Lime Street: Head for the Wirral Line lower level station and board a New Brighton or West Kirby train to Conway Park, or an Ellesmere Port or Chester train to Birkenhead Central or Rock Ferry.
From Conway Park: Turn right outside the station and walk 100 yards to Birkenhead Bus Station.
From Birkenhead Central: Cross Argyle Street and walk along Borough Road, which runs parallel to the flyover. The ground is approximately a 30-minute walk.
From Rock Ferry: The ground is a 15-minute walk. Turn right outside the station onto Bedford Road. Continue along Bedford Avenue and Bedford Drive until you reach a road junction shortly after Prenton High School. Continue onto Mount Road and turn right at the first set of traffic lights onto Borough Road - the ground is five minutes on the left.
Summit Marine Cowshed Stand (away supporters only) - behind the goal, facilities: fast food, licensed bar, toilets, Family Friendly Area. Prices for tickets bought on the day are:
Seniors (65+) Â£12
Young Persons (17-22) Â£12
Under-12 (must be accompanied) Â£2
Ticket prices are Â£2 cheaper (except for U12s) if bought in advance.
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 0 Tranmere Rovers 3
Vanarama National League
31 January 2017
The Cards went into this rescheduled game on the back of away wins at Torquay and Eastleigh, which had lifted them to 19th spot in the table. They played confidently in the first half and took the game to Rovers, with new loan signing Macauley Bonne going close after fine work from â€˜man of the matchâ€™, Jake Caprice. But, shortly after the break, winger Ben Tollitt laid on a goal for Andy Cook and then quickly added a second with a powerful strike from the edge of the box. As Woking continued to press forward gamely, Tollitt showed his class with a superb solo goal, running half the length of the pitch before finishing smartly.
Woking: Michael Poke; Jake Caprice, Terell Thomas, Ismail Yakubu, Joey Jones, Fabio Saraiva, Keiran Murtagh (Connor Hall 75), Charlie Carter (Max Kretzschmar 62), Kane Ferdinand, Macauley Bonne (Chris Arthur 75), Gozie Ugwu
Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Luke Kandi
Tranmere Rovers: Scott Davies, Lois Maynard, Steve McNulty, Michael Ihiekwe, Lee Vaughan, James Wallace (Jay Harris 58), Jeff Harris, Ben Tollitt, Liam Ridehalgh, James Norwood (Jake Kirby 77), Andy Cook (Cole Stockton 80)
Unused subs: Ian Turner, Andy Mangan
Goals: Cook (52), Tollitt (54, 77)
The Cards are away to Barrow on Saturday 12 August. Their next home game is on Tuesday 15 August when they entertain Eastleigh. That game is followed by another, keenly-awaited, home game on Saturday 19 August when Leyton Orient are expected to bring great support.
Come on, you Cards!