Alliance Affairs - Tranmere hit second spot

Last updated : 14 January 2003 By Peter Heywood

Of the four surviving games, title-chasing Tranmere featured in two of them. Having been beaten 3-0 by leaders Preston the previous Saturday, the Rovers were in no mood to dispense any pre-Christmas cheer when the two rivals met again a week later at Tranmere’s Ingleborough Park. In what was possibly the performance of the season the Lilywhites were dispatched 4-0 with goals from Paul Linwood, Ged Scott and two from Chris Dagnall.

Tranmere duly maintained their four goals a game average last Saturday, when bottom club Blackpool were on the receiving end. The Seasiders put up a brave fight though before going down 4-2. Matthew Blinkhorn marked his return with a goal, and Chris Porter got the Tangerines’ second. Paul Brown and Paul Martin opened their accounts for the home side.

But for Tranmere it was that man Chris Dagnall who shone again with two more goals. At the moment he seems to have taken over from Paul Robinson as the Rovers’ goal-machine. Between them the prolific pair have now scored 21 times in 10 league games, as well as numerous cup goals. Robinson has also added another three at reserve level and has made the first team squad. Both are eligible to play against the Clarets in the Lancashire Youth Cup game at the Turf on January 27th, and should be well worth having a look at.

Blackpool did manage to pick up a point at Bury, holding out for a goalless draw just before Christmas. Bury are now having to do without the services of striker David Nugent, promoted to the first team by manager Andy Preece. The 17 year-old put in a man of the match performance in the recent LDV win over Tranmere, scoring in the process. Another one to keep an eye on, it would seem.

The only other game to take place was our 3-0 home defeat yesterday to Stockport. The Hatters are enjoying a fine run of form having now won five of their last six games (the odd one out was their 3-2 defeat at our hands). Victory for the Clarets would have put us in the third Merit League place; in the end defeat meant that Stockport themselves sit there.

On Saturday we travel to Preston it what will surely be another tough encounter. They have already beaten us twice at Gawthorpe this season, although both were close games. Preston will be aware that Tranmere are once again breathing down their necks in the title chase, so Terry Pashley’s youngsters will have to be at their best to get something from this game.

This Saturday’s fixtures:

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

Leading reported league scorers:

12 Paul Robinson (Tranmere)
9 Kelvin Langmead (Preston)
9 Chris Dagnell (Tranmere)
6 Michael Kewley (Preston)
5 Lee Hamilton (Carlisle)
5 Jamie Baguley (Stockport)

Youth Alliance League Table