Late stoppage time goal earns Tranmere Rovers a draw in 'scrappy' opening start to the season

Late stoppage time goal earns Tranmere Rovers a draw in 'scrappy' opening start to the season

Rob Edwards: 'There were a lot of nerves from the players'

Tranmere V York City. Cole Stockton on the ball. Pictures: Paul Heaps

Tranmere's Marcus Holness on the ball

Tranmere's Max Power on the ball

Danny Holmes on the attack for Tranmere.

First published in News
Last updated

TRANMERE ROVERS.........1

YORK CITY.........................1

ROVERS manager Rob Edwards admitted nerves may have got the better of some players as Tranmere's first game of the new season in League Two ended in a draw.

A late goal by James Rowe well into injury time earned Tranmere a point against York City on the opening day of the 2014-15 campaign.

Edwards said he felt there was "plenty to work on" after the 1-1 result, but stressed "an awful lot of things must improve - and quickly."

Five of Tranmere's summer signings started Edwards' first competitive game in charge at Prenton Park.

Michael Ihiekwe, Marcus Holness, Eliot Richards, Marc Laird and Danny Woodards all made their full debuts for the club while Kayode Odejayi, Clayton McDonald, Matt Gill and Matt Hill were on the bench.

Rovers had a chance to open their scoring account just six minutes from kick-off. Cole Stockton nodded the ball back to Jason Koumas who took a touch before sending a 25-yard shot high over the crossbar.

The visitors' first opportunity came five minutes later when a throw-in from the right was received by Michael Coulson, who turned before sending a right-foot shot across goal and just wide of the far post.

Chances went begging for both sides as the game progressed. Koumas had another effort on goal on 38 minutes, but his low strike from 25 yards was well saved.

Owain Fon Williams was called into action just before the interval as Michael Coulson hit a powerful drive from 30 yards which the 'keeper palmed away to keep the score goalless at half-time.

York took the lead midway through the second half. A corner from the left was swung in by Lindon Meikle and Keith Lowe headed home past Fon Williams.

Rovers equalised in the fourth minute of stoppage time, seconds before the final whistle blew, with Rowe volleying in from the edge of the penalty area.

In his post-match interview, Edwards said: "It was a long, tough 90 minutes and a lot of things went wrong.

"There were a lot of nerves from the players, and in the end we're lucky to get a point. We'll take it.

"We need to improve an awful lot of things and quickly.

"It was always going to be a scrappy game but we were disjointed as a team today. We'll move on.

"I'm not critical of how hard they tried, in fact I think they were guilty of trying too hard and not thinking enough.

"We looked like a new team and they looked like a team that had been together for a year or so. They knew how they were playing and scrapped for each other.

"We didn't get going. If we were playing good football then Jason is the best player on the pitch. If we're struggling with our football then Jason doesn't get a touch.

"The better we play then Jason will stay on the pitch. I had a bit of grief from the fans but I like their opinion.

"The players are going to have to do better at set pieces and punch above their weight."

Rovers will be in action again on Tuesday when they face Nottingham Forest in the first round of the Capital One Cup.

Stuart Pearce's side are fifth in the Championship table after beating beleagured Blackpool 2-0 in the opening game of the season on Saturday, while Tranmere go into the game in 14th place in League Two.

Edwards said: “Forest are going to be a different type of challenge.

“Stuart’s built a squad that has real strength and will be strong competitors. It’s going to be an exciting game."

Kick-off at Prenton Park will be 7.45pm.

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