Tranmere delivered their first win of the season in some style, after steamrolling troubled Bolton 5-0 at Prenton Park.

Goals from Ollie Banks, Morgan Ferrier (2), Connor Jennings and Stefan Payne completed the rout in a highly-charged atmosphere that threatened to spill over on a couple of occasions.

With Bolton still in administration and a mooted takeover yet to be completed, the visitors were again forced to field a virtual youth side, who despite their best efforts, eventually found Rovers too tough to handle.

Micky Mellon made one change to the side that was knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Hull City midweek, recalling Jennings at the expense of Darren Potter.

Aided by a ferocious atmosphere, Tranmere started with a high tempo, as Corey Blackett-Taylor – who had impressed against Hull – won a succession of corners.

Wanderers ‘keeper Remi Matthews was soon called into action, tipping a 20-yard curling effort from Banks over the bar.

Jennings then flashed one wide as the hosts continued their offensive strategy.

Bolton were seriously under the cosh, but their young players were working tirelessly to keep Rovers at bay.

When Kieron Morris teed up Kane Wilson for a shooting opportunity, his ballooned effort was greeted by cheers from the 2000+ away fans behind the goal.

Jennings fared little better in the 25thminute, when he turned his man in the box but could only scoop the ball over the bar.

Tranmere’s frustration at not making quicker inroads against their opponents boiled over shortly before the half hour mark when Ferrier was dispossessed by a strong tackle from Yoan Zouma.

The Rovers centre forward sought immediate retribution by leaving a late hard tackle on full back Harry Brockbank that resulted in a yellow card. There could’ve been few complaints if it was red.

Once dusted down, Brockbank wasted no time picking up a caution himself, dishing out a late challenge of his own on Manny Monthe.

The hosts finally broke Bolton’s resistance seven minutes before the break when Banks collected the ball just inside box, turned and fired it into the roof of the net.

Two minutes later they doubled their advantage when Wanderers failed to deal with a corner from Morris, allowing Ferrier to sweep the ball home from close range.

Tranmere nearly added a third when Jennings slipped Morris clean through on goal, but Matthews rushed out to deny him. 

Scott Davies had been a virtual spectator for 45 minutes, but he was forced to tip a clever free kick from James Weir onto the bar with the last kick of the half. 

No sooner was the second half underway, Tranmere got their third and it was that man Ferrier again.

This time, he bamboozled Zouma with a drag-back and nutmeg combination before slotting the ball into the bottom left corner beyond the reach of Matthews.

Mellon’s men could smell blood and were hungry for more. When Ferrier found Corey Blackett-Taylor on the break, the winger smashed the ball into the side-netting when he really should have found the target.

Banks was next to fall short in the final third, side-footing a pass from Morris over the bar.

After play was interrupted temporarily by a Bolton pitch invader, Tranmere soon got back to business, scoring a fourth.

Morris was able to get around his marker on the bi-line pulling it back for Jennings to shoot and despite a gallant effort to clear it off the line, the goal was given.

By now in cruise control, Rovers added a fifth with quarter of an hour to play when substitute Paul Mullin saw his shot redirected off the chest of Payne into the net.

In truth this was not an even contest, with Bolton’s teenagers standing little chance of overcoming an experience and strong Tranmere side in front of a crowd of over 8,500 people.

Nevertheless, it is a welcome three points for Rovers who after two opening defeats knew that victory was the only acceptable outcome for supporters here.

Micky Mellon: “It was a difficult game for us but one that we would have expected to win, with all due respect to Bolton. There was a lot of pressure on us to make sure that we got the job done and we did.

“There’s still a lot of work needed to be done. We haven’t got really anywhere near where I expect us to get to in order to become competitive. We’re delighted to get a win like that but we’ll be onto the players on Monday, because we want them to be very good.

“There’s still stuff there that we felt that we would have to tidy up on. We won’t take our foot off. We’ll keep on pushing until we get what we want to see and that’s a competitive League One team, because we’ve got to keep the standards high.”


Tranmere Rovers 5

Banks 38, Ferrier 40, 46, Jennings 63, Payne 75

Bolton Wanderers 0

Half time: 2-0

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 8,568

Star man: Kieron Morris (Tranmere midfielder)

Match rating: 3/5

Tranmere team (4-5-1): Davies, Wilson, Ray, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Morris, Perkins, Banks, Jennings, Blackett-Taylor, Ferrier

Tranmere subs: Pilling, Nelson, Potter, Mullin, Ponticelli, Gilmour, Payne

Bolton team (4-4-2): Matthews, Lowe, Murphy, Weir, Brockbank, Darcy, Zouma, Brown, Graham, King-Harmes, White

Bolton subs: Alexander, Boon, Senior, Brown-Sterling, Richards, Riley, Osigwe