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More high than Lowe!

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date online: 03 March 2014

Tranmere 2, Athletic 2

ATHLETIC boss Lee Johnson was smiling after his side had the edge over a Tranmere side notoriously tough to beat on their own patch.

The visitors may have been pegged back by a trademark clinical finish from veteran striker Ryan Lowe with 15 minutes to go, but the frustration following the midweek Boundary Park loss to Milton Keynes was shaken off.

The visitors were bright and breezy from the off in Birkenhead as almost 800 travelling fans roared them on from behind the goal - on a day when they would perhaps have marched to a victory had Rovers not got lucky twice shortly before the half hour..

Granted, Rovers enjoyed the better of the latter stages and went close to snatching what would have been a win, but Johnson will take plenty of encouragement as his young side continues to battle its way towards a top-half finish in the division.

Athletic had a real spring in their step from the start, and after Philliskirk had already seen a deflected shot saved by Welsh international stopper Owain fon Williams, they roared into the lead after 12 minutes. Wesolowski played a one-two with Gary Harkins before taking a step and blasting an angled drive from just inside the box.

Harkins headed over and then as Athletic pushed on towards what could have been a potentially match-clinching second goal, a huge penalty appeal was waved away.

Danny Holmes clearly shoved Philliskirk in the back as he charged into the Tranmere box, but referee Breakspear emphatically turned down the appeal.

Minutes later Rovers got lucky again as they equalised, courtesy of a freak strike which probably ought to have been called an own goal.

Lowe teed up Jason Koumas, who fired in a low drive. The ball struck Grounds' foot and looped over Mark Oxley and into the net.

That appeared to knock the stuffing out of Athletic and it remained 1-1 until half-time, but Johnson's men were out early for the second half and deservedly went back in front just before the hour.

This time Athletic's luck was in. Worrall sneaked down the right and crossed in low from the bye-line, and as Ash Taylor tried to clear, the ball struck team-mate Liam Ridehalgh and trickled back in the opposite direction and into the goal.

Philliskirk went close to making it 3-1, but it was 35-year-old Lowe who was to have the final word, perfectly placing a header past Oxley from Jake Cassidy's cross..


For all those fans that bemoaned the result on Saturday, they should remember that Tranmere had only lost once in their previous 4 games, with two wins and a draw. Plus, they have the league's top-scorer in Ryan Lowe.

Had the ref given the blatant penalty, the match could easily have had a different outcome.

should have won it and we didn't.

A better performance 'by half' than last week but the defence was again prone to mistakes and the Lowe header to draw Tranmere level was courtesy of shocking marking.

Angled drive & Tranmere were lucky.
Stop papering over the cracks.

Wes's goal went right through their keeper, keeper error, they scored an own goal & you report they were lucky.

Obviously we felt guilty so we gifted Lowe space at the end, as usual.

Even when we are gifted goals we still can't hold a lead due to our own poor defensive decisions.

Here's looking forward to a better season next year.
Hopefully in L1.

I'd have took a draw before hand but once again on the day, it convinced me LJ doesn't know how to win football matches. At 2-1 Philly was knackered and sub should have had been made, big man up front to hold up the ball. We are so weak in the tackle, teams are back attacking us in seconds. No coincidence both goals came from Mellor's side, something not right with him and his chances are up for me. Brilliant following by the way.


You wouldnt think that we drew away from home judging by some of the things posted.I was frustrated too but a point away is never bad.

How about (1) TURNING OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK BUTTON (2) finding something positive to say about the team for a change?


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