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Archived News from October 2014

27th October 2014 9:50

Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Tranmere Rovers 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 4092 (122 from Mansfield)

Date: 21 October 2014

Martin Shaw at Prenton Park

Mansfield Town and Tranmere Rovers played out an abysmal goalless draw in terrible conditions at Prenton Park this evening. Heavy rain before the game left the pitch very skiddy but it was the gusting gales that were the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo that made creating anything resembling good football very difficult for both sides. After the game I chatted with Fergus Bell who confirmed to me how difficult it was to string passes together in the conditions. Tranmere were buoyed by the arrival of new manager Micky Adams and two on-loan strikers but neither side looked like scoring all evening and indeed the first shot on target in the match came on 72 minutes. The second and last shot on target came on 90+7 minutes. Both were from Tranmere and both from well outside the area. The Stags didn’t create a meaningful chance all match. The Stags defended well throughout and the back three of Martin Riley, Jamie Sendles-White, Ritchie Sutton were Mansfield’s best players. Unbelievably though Mansfield were struck down by two more injuries. With Dempster, Tafazolli, Jones, Clements, Hearn, Palmer, and Rhead all out (plus Murray suspended), the Stags lost Kieron Freeman with a twisted knee (he’ll have a scan to assess the extent of the damage) and Alex Fisher with a dislocated shoulder (he’ll be out for 4 weeks). None of these players is expected to be available for the trip to York apart from Murray. Heslop deserves huge credit for playing with injections before the game and at half-time (and clearly limping at times) while Bell was also not feeling very well (he told me afterwards). The Stags failure to create many goalscoring opportunities in the last two games is a big concern and shows how Mansfield are missing Clements especially and also Murray. The Stags are also missing Rhead whose ability to hold the ball up front and bring others into play was obviously missing tonight. This really was poor fayre for the fans but in the circumstances (the new manager effect for Tranmere and the Stags injury crisis) not a bad point. So after not drawing any of the opening 11 games, 3 have now come along on the trot. The Stags remain 7 points above the relegation places but are now 5 points behind the play-offs.

Before the game, the Stags brought in striker Daniel Carr, on loan from Huddersfield. Having not even met the players until arriving at the ground, he went on to the bench, while the starting XI was unchanged from Saturday. New Tranmere manager Micky Adams brought in new loan strikers Armand Gnanduillet and Danny Johnson, from Chesterfield and Cardiff City respectively.


Tranmere Rovers 0 Mansfield Town 0 - 21st October 2014
chad.co.uk report by Sports Reporter (!!)

Shot-shy Mansfield recorded a second goal-less draw inside four days as they were held at bottom-of-the-table Tranmere Rovers last night.


The Stags would have hoped to build on their point against Cambridge United on Saturday with a better attacking performance and victory in Birkenhead.

But the Stags failed to produce a shot on target all evening without Matt Rhead to lead the line and spent the majority of the night defending.

Paul Cox’s men also have fresh injury worries with both Kieron Freeman and Alex Fisher forced off through injury, meaning an already threadbare squad will be stretched to the limit for Saturday’s visit to York City.

Mansfield were unchanged from Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Cambridge United, despite the late signing of striker Daniel Carr from Huddersfield Town.

The 20-year-old, who was loaned to Fleetwood last season, had to settle for a place on the bench.

The home fans were on their feet at the start of the match to welcome new manager Micky Adams for his first full game in charge.

But they were soon groaning as Armand Gnanduillet, on loan from Chesterfield, dragged an early shot from distance horribly wide.

Soon after, Max Power whipped in a menacing free-kick from close to the left corner flag, but the ball glanced off Gnanduillet’s head and away from danger.

Gnanduillet was altogether closer after a buccaneering run at the home defence before his low drive cannoned off a Mansfield leg for a corner, which came to nothing.

At the other end amid a heavy rain shower, Alex Fisher almost latched onto Rakish Bingham’s through ball, only for Owain Fon Williams to race off his line to get there first by a split second.

Studer was left breathing a sigh of relief when he spilled Power’s right-wing centre, only for the officials to spot a foul in the scramble that followed, .

But he was not needed moments later as Marc Laird tried a curling effort that was always heading for the stands from the point it left his right boot.

Mansfield were forced into a change in the 32nd minute when Kieron Freeman went down under a heavy change and was unable to continue after treatment, being replaced by Rob Taylor.

There was a moment of concern for Mansfield as the Merseysiders attacked again soon after, but Jake Kirby was unable to get the strength of touch necessary to turn in Danny Holmes, dangerous low cross.

At the other end, Simon Heslop tried twice his luck from outside the box in the lead up to the break, but on neither occasion was Fon Williams called into action, which summed up a drab first half lacking in goalmouth action.

Mansfield were a man down for the first minute of the second half as Heslop was late to re-emerge from the tunnel.

He was soon needed as Rovers began to pile on the pressure with a George Barker shot from just outside the area and a Marcus Holness header from close in deflected just wide and over respectively.

Stags boss Paul Cox shook things up just after the hour mark when he threw on Carr in place of Fergus Bell, who had been well below his best.

Mansfield were a man down for the first minute of the second half as Heslop was late to re-emerge from the tunnel.

He was soon needed as Rovers began to pile on the pressure with a George Barker shot from just outside the area and a Marcus Holness header from close in deflected just wide and over respectively.

Stags boss Paul Cox shook things up just after the hour mark when he threw on Carr in place of Fergus Bell, who had been well below his best.

There was another injury blow for Mansfield in the 78th minute when Alex Fisher stayed down after challenging for an aerial ball. He eventually walked off the pitch with his left arm in a sling after a five minute delay, with Reggie Lambe replacing him.

The delay meant seven minutes of time was added on at the end and Tranmere spent most of that in the Mansfield half.

First Gnanduillet was blocked off by Heslop, who tracked the striker’s run all the way across the penalty area.

And then Laird’s long range drive was claimed by Studer at the second attempt, as Mansfield did enough to hold on.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Power Ihiekwe, Holness, Laird, Kirby (Odejayi 87), Donacien, Barker (Baggie 75), Gnaduillet, Johnson (Donnelly 73). Subs not used: Brezovan, Rowe, Gill, Davies.Subs not used: Brezovan, Rowe, Gill, Davies.

TEAM: Studer, Beevers, Sutton, Riley, Sendles-White, Freeman (Taylor 32), McGuire, Heslop, Bell (Carr 62), Fisher (Lambe 83), Bingham. Subs not used: Evtimov, Marsden, Thomas.

REFEREE: Tony Harrington (Cleveland).

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jamie Sendles-White.



Tranmere Rovers 0 Mansfield Town 0: Match report
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny

ON THE front of the match programme at Prenton Park read the words, “where there is faith, there is light and strength”, but even the most ardent believers following either Mansfield or Tranmere were struggling to find the bright side of last night’s forgetful clash.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Tranmere-Rovers-0-Mansfield-Town-0-Match-report/story-23317155-detail/story.html?#ixzz3GosClMll

A point away from home was, on the face of it, a reasonable return for the Stags taking on a Rovers side out to impress newly-installed boss Micky Adams.

But the reality is that it was very poor fayre from Mansfield - and, truth be told, their opponents too - in what was the antithesis of games that pundits often refer to as a great advert for football.

Neither side mustered a single shot on target until the 72nd minute, which was as much down to the attacking ineptitude of each team as rock-solid defences.

In Mansfield’s case, they didn’t even manage one at all during the entire 90 minutes - a particularly disappointing fact considering Tranmere were rock bottom of the Football League going into the fixture.

The fact is that the Stags are finding it hard to come to terms with playing without burly target man Matt Rhead, currently out injured. They can point to other injuries too.

But there has been little in the way of a plan B in his absence, which means the pacey Rakish Bingham is feeding only off scraps and not being allowed to fulfil his potential.

At least the Stags did keep a second consecutive clean sheet, but there is a definite need for improvement going forward ahead of their trip to York City at the weekend.

The Stags were boosted pre-match as they managed to complete a 28-day emergency loan deal for striker Daniel Carr from Championship Huddersfield.

The 20-year-old former Dulwich Hamlet man had to be content with a place on the bench, however, having signed so late that he travelled separately to Birkenhead and had not met any of his new team-mates prior to kick-off.

One of Tranmere’s two loan signings - Armand Gnanduillet from Chesterfield - tried to give new Rovers managed Micky Adams the perfect start with a trio of early half chances, but failed on each occasion.

The best of them saw the big man stretch to head wide at the far post after a measured free-kick from the left by Max Power.

As the rain began to torrent down with 15 minutes gone, home keeper Owain Fon Williams had to be on his toes to deal with Bingham’s through ball, just beating the onrushing Alex Fisher to the ball.

Sascha Studer was fortunate to get away with an error when he dropped Max Power’s cross under pressure from Gnanduillet, only for the assistant referee to flag for offside as the visitors tried desperately to scramble the ball away.

Tranmere continued to do most of the attacking but Marc Laird was high and wide with his attempted curler from outside the box.

There was a blow for the Stags just past the half hour mark as Kieron Freeman was unable to shake off a blow that left him grounded and eventually made way for Rob Taylor.

Mansfield were stretched again when Danny Holmes made ground down the left wing and crossed low to the far post where Jake Kirby got his toe to the ball but could not direct it goalwards.

As half-time approached, Kirby ran at Mansfield and was brought down by Martin Riley on the edge of the box.

Danny Johnson, the second Rovers loanee, took aim but was just inches too high with Studer at full stretch.

Simon Heslop then let fly with an opportunist volley, but it never threatened the goal as a disappointing half drew to a close without either keeper being truly tested.

Tranmere started the second half in determined mood as George Barker’s shot was deflected just wide and, from the flag kick that followed, Marcus Holness was just too high with a header.

Heslop, who reappeared on the field almost a minute after the game had restarted, then made a timely challenge to thwart Gnanduillet as he went for the return pass after a neat one-two.

Mansfield made a second change in a bid to shake things up with Tranmere getting increasingly on top, as Fergus Bell was withdrawn and Daniel Carr thrown on for his Stags debut.

But still it was the Birkenhead club who looked the most likely to unlock the deadlock as Kirby cut in from the left to sting the fingertips of the alert Studer.

A long stoppage ended when Mansfield’s Fisher walked off the pitch with his left arm in a sling as Reggie Lambe came on.

Rovers spent much of the resulting seven minutes of stoppage time in the Stags’ half, but the closest they came was when Laird’s drive was held at the second attempt by Studer.

In the end, the full-time whistle could not come soon enough for most of Mansfield’s fans. It was a long way to travel for precious little entertainment.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Power, Ihiekwe, Holness, Laird, Kirby (Odejayi 87), Donacien, Barker (Baggie 75), Gnanduillet, Johnson (Donnelly 73). Subs not used: Brezovan, Rowe, Gill, Davies.

Mansfield: Studer, Beevers, Sutton, Riley, Sendles-White, Freeman (Taylor 32), McGuire, Heslop, Bell (Carr 62), Fisher (Lambe 84), Bingham. Subs not used: Evtimov, Marsden, Thomas.

Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland).

Attendance: 4,092.

Mansfield man of the match: Jamie Sendles-White: The QPR loanee showed his higher division class with an assured display that quelled the threat of the dangerous Armand Gnanduillet and saw Tranmere manage only a handful of shots on goal.


Report: Tranmere 0 Mansfield 0
Author: Paul Harper, tranmererovers.co.uk

Rovers held at Prenton Park
Tranmere and Mansfield played out a goalless draw in a game played in blustery conditions as Prenton Park saw the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo.

Read more at http://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/article/report-mansfield-211014-2030074.aspx#SvfPQWoJYeLHlMP6.99

New Tranmere manager Micky Adams was in charge of Rovers for the first time and he made five changes to the side which began the 2-0 defeat at Oxford United last Saturday.

New loan arrivals Armand Gnanduillet and Danny Johnson, from Chesterfield and Cardiff City respectively, started up front while Owain fon Williams, Marc Laird and Jake Kirby returned to the starting line-up.

The first opportunity of the game fell to Rovers on eight minutes. A free-kick on the left was whipped over by Max Power but Armand Gnanduillet couldn't get the desired contact and the ball went wide of goal.

Gnanduillet went closer three minutes later. He picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and hit a low left-footed effort which was deflected narrowly wide.

As conditions worsened with heavy wind and rain blustering around Prenton Park, there was a spell of little goalmouth action.

Tranmere had another effort on 29 minutes. After a period of possession, the ball was worked out to Marc Laird 25 yards from goal but the midfielder's curling effort went over the crossbar.

On 35 minutes, Danny Holmes marauded down the left and swung in a low dangerous cross from the left but it evaded the onrushing Gnanduillet and Jake Kirby at the far post.

Mansfield's first effort on the Rovers goal came on 37 minutes. A low cross from the right was half cleared and it fell to Simon Heslop who looped the ball just over the crossbar.

Danny Johnson went close for Tranmere six minutes before the break. Kirby was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and Johnson stepped up but hit his free-kick a foot or so too high.

Heslop had another effort from distance just before the interval. Robert Taylor's free-kick from the right was cleared only as far as Heslop who swung his left foot and sent the ball wide of the target as the half ended goalless.

On 51 minutes, George Barker hit a half volley from the left corner of the penalty area which was deflected just wide. The resulting corner saw Power's delivery met by Marcus Holness but his header was deflected wide for another flag kick which came to nothing.

A further few more corners were soon forced after that by Tranmere but they came to nothing.

On 71 minutes, Laird dinked the ball to Kirby inside the box who cut inside and fired a right foot shot which Mansfield goalkeeper Sascha Studer saved low to his right.

Two minutes later, Tranmere made their first change with Danny Johnson being withdrawn, replaced by George Donnelly before Abdulai Baggie entered the fray in the place of George Barker.

After a long stoppage for an injury to Mansfield's Alex Fisher, Rovers made their final change with Kayode Odejayi introduced for Jake Kirby.

That injury delay meant for seven minutes added time at the end of the game but Tranmere couldn't force a winner and both teams took a point.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Donacien, Holness, Ihiekwe, Holmes, Kirby (Odejayi 86), Power, Laird, Barker (Baggie 74), Gnanduillet, Johnson (Donnelly 73). Substitutes: Brezovan, Davies, Rowe, Gill.

Mansfield: Studer, Sutton, Bell (Carr 62), Fisher (Thompson-Lambe 84), Bingham, McGuire, Freeman (Taylor 32), Heslop, Beevers, Sendles-White, Riley. Substitutes: Evtimov, Marsden, Thomas.

Referee: Tony Harrington

Yellow cards:Gnanduillet (13), Sendles-White (90+4)


Tranmere Rovers FC 0 Mansfield Town 0: Rovers blown back on course by winds of change
Oct 21, 2014, By Phil Kirkbride, liverpoolecho.co.uk

Encouraging start to new boss Micky Adams' reign

New manager Micky Adams will hope the gale force gusts that battered Prenton Park tonight were the winds of change.


Troubled Tranmere Rovers made an encouraging start to life in their new era under Adams with a point at home to Mansfield Town.

It may not have been the victory the new boss or the fans had dreamt of or a spectacular display to lift the spirits but there was a solid and dependable look about the side that had been painfully absent in recent times.

Adams watched Saturday’s worrying defeat at Oxford from the stands but his presence on the touchline helped to re-energise League Two’s bottom club.

The draw does nothing to lift Rovers from the foot of the Football League ladder but the manner of their performance - committed, direct and at an excellent tempo for most of the game - will have given him - and the fans - reason to believe that they will not be there for much longer.

Clear cut chances were at a premium here and Rovers are still lacking a cutting edge up front but the addition of two new strikers on loan and Adams’ belief in an up and at ‘em style augurs for well for Tranmere’s hopes of pulling away from the drop zone.

The new manager’s first act as Rovers boss was bold and decisive as he made five changes from the side that slumped to defeat at Oxford at the weekend.

And included in the shake-up was on loan striker Danny Johnson who has joined the club from Championship outfit Cardiff City for a month.

Johnson made his name with non-league outfit Guisborough and, on this showing, looks as though he will be a welcome addition to the ranks.

Adams received a warm reception from the beleaguered Tranmere fans before kick-off who now have to put their hopes in the hands of the former Leicester City boss.

These are desperate times for Tranmere.

Rooted to the foot of the Football League, Rovers believe the seasoned Adams will be the man to engineer a swift turnaround in their fortunes.

The early signs are that Adams can see to that and kitted out in a club tracksuit the new boss will have asked his players to roll their sleeves up.

Because there is no easy way out of trouble for Tranmere. They must run the hard yards. Do the dirty work and start grinding out results. And last night was a wholly decent start.

Rob Edwards believed Rovers could have success in League Two with an easy-on-the-eye style but Adams thinks differently.

Adams intends on playing the percentages, playing in right areas and forgetting about it being pretty.

There was plenty of industry and willing with Marc Laird and Max Power who worked doggedly in the middle and Danny Holmes was equally committed on the left of the defence while new-boys Johnson and Armand Gnanduillet harried the Mansfield defence all night as Rovers’ fresh pairing up front.

The nerves that come with being bottom of the league did surfaced when Marcus Holness sold Owain Fon Williams short with a back pass but fortunately the Welsh goalkeeper was alert to the danger as the home fans held their breath.

And the Tranmere backline were otherwise solid throughout the game with Holness and Ihiekwe snuffing out any threat from Mansfield.

At the other end, clear cut chances were hard to come by but Adams will have been encouraged by aspects of Tranmere’s approach play and the tempo with which they were trying to force the opening.

Indeed, a swift counter-attack ended with Jake Kirby being fouled on the edge of the area and Johnson’s well hit free-kick fizzed marginally over in the best effort of the first-half.

Tranmere, out earlier than Mansfield for the second-half, were quicker out of the blocks as well.

Adams was determined for his new side to be positive and play with an even greater tempo than they had done in the first period and it gave something for the home fans to get behind.

Crosses were being pumped into the box, Rovers were winning the 50-50 challenges and attacking every corner Max Power swung into the area.

The noise inside Prenton Park rose in response to Tranmere’s intent.

As the game wore on, the ideas and methods Admas spoke out in Monday’s press conference looked like they were sinking in even if the chances were not coming as he would have hoped.

Gnanduillet was fast becoming Rovers’ focal point in attack as the home side played in a direct style that made them the only side looking likely to break the deadlock.

Kirby forced Sascha Studer into a smart save as Tranmere probed for the opening goal before Power’s looping free-kick caused Studer to nervously back-track and tip away from danger and then Laird’s shot tested his concentration.

The breakthrough, however, eluded them.

There remains plenty of work for Adams to do.

Rovers struggled to carve out many openings but the improvements in the shape and structure of the team were there for all to see.

Hopefully with Adams at the helm, Tranmere can now weather this storm and pull themselves to safety.



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