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Tranmere Rovers end 2013 with defeat against Sheffield Utd
Tranmere finished 2013 with a 3-1 away defeat at Sheffield United on Sunday.
Goals from Jamie Murphy, Jose Baxter and Ryan Flynn earned the Blades the victory, with Ash Taylor pulling a goal back late in the game.
The result leapfrogged Nigel Clough's side above Rovers, who dropped to 20th in League One.
Ronnie Moore made one change to the team that beat Shrewsbury as a head injury forced James Wallace to be replaced by Steve Jennings in midfield.
Rovers pulled a goal back on 85 minutes. A foul on Akpa Akpro gave Koumas a free kick wide on the left and his cross found Taylor who controlled and fired into the bottom left corner from 12 yards.
There was almost a second on 90 minutes but Kirby's 30 yard volley went inches over the bar, the final shot of the game for either team.
Moore said his side conceded “silly goals.”
In his post-match interview, the manager said: "We said their strength was going to come from set plays and not to give away too many free kicks, but we gave away so many soft ones early on.
“The goal after seven minutes, the defending was awful. Evan has got to do better and stop the lad from turning.
"But I thought we grew in confidence and had a nice 15 or 20 minute spell where we passed it and Lowey chased a ball down and did everything right.
"Maybe he should have squared it, but strikers are strikers and they want to score.
"Then he had another chance where he hit it straight at the keeper but at 1-0 at half time we were thinking we still had a chance.”
Ronnie continued: "They hadn't got out of their half in the second-half then we got done on the counter attack, it was suicidal from us. The ball was played in behind the left back and the lad got a tap in and then the same on the other side.
"We keep saying the same things about defending while we're attacking and we keep giving away silly goals.
"We said to keep it tight early on and not give them anything but we gifted them the first goal.
“There was a little time in the first-half where we kept it well and the crowd turned a bit and got at them, so it was just a matter of staying in the game but we shot ourselves in the foot with the second goal."
He revealed he expected Danny Holmes to be unavailable for up to a month after coming off injured in the first half, while he doesn't expect to be able to extend the loan of Liam Ridehalgh from Huddersfield Town.
Rovers will be facing Wolverhampton Wanderers at Prenton Park on New Year’s Day. Kick-off will be 3pm.