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Stoke City kick Tranmere Rovers out of Capital One Cup
10:00am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
Capital One fixture between Tranmere Rovers V Stoke City. One of the best chances in the match, Chris Atkinson's shot on goal failed to level the scores. Picture: Paul Heaps
TRANMERE Rovers' dreams of Capital One Cup glory faded last night following a 2-0 defeat by Stoke City at Prenton Park.
A brave display from Ronnie Moore’s squad went unrewarded as Stephen Ireland and Peter Crouch ensured Stoke City a fourth round tie against Birmingham City.
Ireland's first-half strike looked to have been the decider for much of the game, but Crouch made it two with the last kick to put the result beyond doubt.
The hosts performed admirably against their Premier League opponents, and came closest when Chris Atkinson shot wide with the score at 1-0.
Following Saturday’s defeat at Notts County, Ronnie Moore made two changes to his side, with Ash Taylor and Cole Stockton replacing Ian Goodison and Joe Thompson.
Rovers face Port Vale in League One action at Prenton Park on Saturday and Moore felt his side showed some of the improvements he was looking for during last night's match.
He told Tranmere Player: "There were a lot of things to be pleased about.
"We changed our shape because if we'd have gone 4-4-2 against them we'd have come off having lost by five or six. We certainly won't play that way on Saturday.
"Defensively we looked alright and limited them to not too many clear cut chances.
"The pleasing thing was we looked a lot better. Tom Hateley played well and enjoyed it.
"The crowd were good and stayed with us and tried to get us going. Now we've got a massive game on Saturday, that's our cup final.
"This was an extra tonight and if we'd won it great, but we have to come out fighting on Saturday and show the determination we showed at times tonight to get at teams and take them on.
"We have to start winning games, we're not stupid. We don't want to be in the bottom four.
"We have to go out and roll our sleeves up and have a fight. The crowd will stay with you if you show blood, sweat and tears and do the job you're supposed to do."
Moore revealed that a groin injury forced him to substitute Evan Horwood at half time.
He added: "He's struggling and we haven't got another left back in the Club so Danny had to play out there.
"We'll be rushing all over now to see whether we can bring a left back in, if not Danny will have to play out there."