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Bell-Baggie picks up a point for Tranmere Rovers in 1-1 draw with Notts County
ADBULAI Bell-Baggie earned Tranmere Rovers a hard-fought point after the side drew 1-1 with Notts County at Prenton Park last night.
Ronnie Moore's squad led at half-time through the striker's second goal of the season, but the visitors equalised in the second half when Jeff Hughes headed in from a set piece.
Moore had to cope with two early injuries as his side, already without Mamady Sidibe, Adam McGurk and James Wallace through injury and Liam Palmer through suspension, lost Andy Robinson and Ian Goodison to knocks in the first half.
There was one change to the team that started at Colchester on Saturday with injury denying Mamady Sidiby a home debut and his place going to Abdulai Bell-Baggie.
Michael O'Halloran moved up front alongside Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro.
County piled on the pressure late in the half and though Rovers wasted some opportunities to keep possession and break out of their half.
The defence did enough to maintain the lead until half time, while a powerful drive from Cole Stockton from 20 yards almost doubled the advantage in the second minute of added time.
An underhit pass on the halfway line from Neal Bishop was intercepted by Stockton and the young striker raced towards the County area only to see his shot blocked by a defender.
The draw means Rovers are third on the League One table with 60 points.
Moore has his sights set on the 70 mark. He said: “We fought and scrapped because they’re a good side.
"Their two wingers are lively but they don’t like defending and that’s where we didn’t keep the ball. The goal we got, we kept it, played a great ball and Abs has got in and scored.
"We just needed to push on from there but we got a bit nervous and anxious. But [that happens] when you lose your two older players. It’s incredible how things have gone against us lately.
"But the pleasing thing is we’re on 60 points, now how quickly can we get out of the sixties?
"Sixty points at this stage of the season against all the top sides, the big money teams with two, three, four times our budget…our lads have given their all.
"We’ve got a smile on our face. We know and I know that they’ve given everything tonight.
"It might not be pretty but we haven’t got 20 players here who can play for Man United. We have to look at the size of the squad and what we’ve got and they deserve a medal, every one of them."
Rovers continue their League One campaign against Yeovil Town at Huish Park on Saturday, 3pm. Moore expects Ian Goodison and Andy Robinson to miss the Yeovil game with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.