Alliance Affairs - Tranmere held after Burnley game called off

Last updated : 05 December 2002 By Peter Heywood

A hastily rearranged fixture saw Wigan travel to Tranmere’s Ingleborough Park on Saturday morning where they produced the performance of the week in drawing 2-2. This wasn’t a case of Wigan holding the Rovers, but the reverse as the home side had to come back from two down to snatch a point. Chris Lynch and Ian Pendlebury had given the Latics the lead, but Chris Dagnall and (who else?) Paul Robinson rescued Tranmere.

Wigan coach David Lee was naturally delighted: "Tranmere are the benchmark at this level…….They have been strong at this age for quite some time now so to come here and get a result is excellent." With any degree of consistency from now on Wigan should ensure that the third qualifying place for the remainder of the season’s Merit League is theirs.

So after a run of fourteen straight wins Tranmere have now drawn twice. They need to return to winning ways soon to have a chance of catching Preston who didn’t play on Saturday. As Stan has so wisely said, it’s how you react when a good run ends that’s important.

Our next opponents, Stockport, win the award for the most rapidly-improving side. After what can only be described as a slow start to the season, they have now won three in a row, the latest a fine 2-1 victory at Carlisle. Jamie Baguley, who is starting to score on a regular basis, and Alex Lord were on target for the Hatters. The Clarets will need to be on top form if they are to claim the points this Saturday.

Blackpool failed to build on their first win of the season, going down 2-1 at Oldham, Sean Patterson scoring again. The Seasiders were without the 17 year-old Matthew Blinkhorn, whose outstanding performance against the Clarets the previous Saturday had earned him a place on the bench for the first team game with Notts County. The tall striker came on as a late second half substitute and he is definitely one to watch.

Finally, Rochdale ensured that Blackpool returned to bottom spot with a 2-0 win at home to Bury.

This week’s fixtures:

Tuesday, December 4th:

Wigan v Rochdale

Saturday, December 7th:

Blackpool v Wigan
Bury v Oldham
Preston v Rochdale
Stockport v Burnley (11am)
Tranmere v Carlisle

Leading reported league scorers:

12 Paul Robinson (Tranmere)
9 Kelvin Langmead (Preston)
5 Lee Hamilton (Carlisle)
5 Michael Kewley (Preston)
5 Jamie Baguley (Stockport)
5 Chris Dagnall (Tranmere)
4 Matthew Blainkhorn (Blackpool)
4 Sean Patterson (Blackpool)
4 Mattie Davies (Stockport)
4 Fola Onibuje (Preston)

Youth Alliance League Table