Tranmere v Cheltenham

Tranmere v Cheltenham
Posted by Ian
Prenton Park
Saturday, August 11, 2018 - 03:00 PM
Until: Saturday, August 11, 2018 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#41
I think we just about deserved that. We were excellent in the first half, playing by far the better football, and should have gone in more than one goal ahead. However. Cheltenham regrouped at half time and dominated for most of the second period, albeit we had two or three great opportunities to finish the game on the break.

In the first half I thought Smith and Jennings ran the game, linking up almost telepathically at times. Both full backs got forward very well, and our attacks were fluid and full of pace and energy. Cheltenham had offered little, but after half time they kept it much better and their number 20, who reminded me a bit of Andrade, was the most influential player on the pitch. He took Smith out of the game by forcing him to run back to his own goal, with Mellon responding, firstly by bringing on Tollitt, and then switching to 433, to try and get a foothold in the game.

In terms of missed chances, it would be easy to criticise Norwood for the two one-on-ones he missed in the second half, but he can't put away every chance he gets. The other attacking players are going to have to step up with goals in the weeks ahead, and hopefully Smith, Stockton and others will break their duck soon.

Individually, I thought Smith was brilliant in the first half but ran out of steam in the second, similar to the Stevenage game last week. Jennings was very good again, and Banks was classy and cultured throughout. Stockton did better than last week, working hard and forcing one good save from the keeper. At the back, I thought McNulty was an absolute rock and Monthe did fine when replacing the injured Sutton.

I would say there have been encouraging signs from the first two matches, with a lot of the football really good to watch, but I still think we are couple of players short of really challenging at this level: a classier midfielder to accompany Banks and more support for Norwood up front (not that I am writing Cole and Mullin off).

Man of the match, Steve McNulty, closely followed by Jennings and Banks.

A good start ahead of two very tough tests in the next week.
 
M

Mal

Guest
#43
With regard to creative midfielders, who isout there that can be brought in, other than possibly taking premier or championship u20 on loan?we don't need another Wallace
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#44
With regard to creative midfielders, who isout there that can be brought in, other than possibly taking premier or championship u20 on loan?we don't need another Wallace
I was not suggesting we will bring someone in next week. I am talking about squad building long term. The difficulty in recruiting in the loan market is why it is important to hold on to experienced players.
 
5 Dec 2015
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Bobby Hutchinson
#45
Ollie who?
You can nitpick, but that was a thoroughly decent performance.
Don't remember Scottie having a save to make.
Away from home Macca might get exposed but he was top notch today.
Ollie B showed why he kept Hughes out of the team and Zoum looks fitter than when he was first with us.
Good atmosphere which waned a little for the middle third of the second half but which picked up again at the business end.
Think I shouted at the ref twice. What a refreshing change.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#46
I heard a rumour we’re bringing a midfielder in from Sunderland this week. Not max power tho!

As good as CJ did today playing wide, I wouldn’t be against Connor playing centrally in a 4-4-2 if it meant Tollit and smith both started. But then is banks decent enough for a holding role.
 
18 May 2012
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ian goodison
#47
was a bit nervous today but the display 1st half was excellent should have been 4 up Jennings & banks unplayable thought link up play between full backs & wingers was great, wishing cole would score if only to boost confidence sorry but thought tollet looked a lost soul at times still early days will be more confident after today
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#48
I am not sure CJ can play in central midfield at this level. I think you really need specialists in that role in League football.

Harris worked incredibly hard again today, but I still worry that he gives the ball away too cheaply at times. He also gave away three or four free kicks on the edge of the box which could have cost us.
 

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#49
Harris will probably struggle as the season goes on as there will be better teams, but I love his desire and work rate which I dont think can be underestimated.

I know it’s only two games, but Stockton looks lost in this setup and his quality or lack of it clearly showed today. We will be relying on Norwood for an awful lot of goals this season until we bring someone decent to work alongside him.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#50
I thought Stockton did OK and it is too early to judge him. The service to him was not right at times, as we were pinging balls at his head as if he was Cook, whereas he wants it in to feet.

It was Stockton's lay off in the build up to the goal and he also forced a very good save from Flinders.

I agree about Harris's workrate. The whole team pressed unbelievably today, particularly in the first half.
 

ADD

Member
2 Jun 2018
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Norwood
#51
I thought by contrast Sparky that Caprice was very good. Cole is always going to divide opinion unless he scores 20 goals this season but I thought he battled well, had a good shot saved and held the ball up pretty well considering the challenges he was subject to. He also set up Norwood for his goal and would have scored himself if Nors had passed square to him in acres of space with the goal begging. You could see how desperate he was to open his account and I think he will do the business this season...
Agree with others Banks and CJ were excellent as was Zoom and big Steve was excellent today - the only disappointment was we should have scored more than one and we sat back too deep again like last week.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#52
I agree about Caprice. Zoum and him were great in the first half when they overlapped to support attacks, and Jake has been better defensively than I expected as well.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#53
Sutton has gone for a scan so fingers crossed it’s not serious as he was excellent before her went off
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#54
Definitely a game of two halves. Dominant in the first half, but conceded a string of free-kicks and struggled to retain possession at times in the second, although we still had enough decent chances to kill the game off.

Defensively we looked solid, Scott only had one save of note to make and the full-backs were decent going forward. Had some reservations about Monthe, who tended to get height rather than distance or direction onto a couple of clearances near the end, which added to the nerves.

Like Ian, I'd forgotten how good Banks can be. Harris was as expected, wasn't keeping a tally of who was giving free-kicks away, but the referee, who generally had a good game, became a bit whistle happy for a spell in the second half. Jennings was good, didn't notice Smith much save an excellent breakaway and shot at around 35 minutes.

Norwood scored a great goal and could easily had a hat-trick with better finishing. While it would have been better for him to square it to Stockton in the incident ADD refers to, he did test the keeper with his resultant shot and there was some miscalculation, because when next in a similar position, he tried to set Tollitt up, when in a better position himself. He also needs to keep a lid on things, persistent mouthing off at the referee when he thought a penalty was merited, close to h/t would have seen most officials reaching for their card. Stockton, I'm not sure about. He's a confidence player and we can't assume that he'll start up where he left off last time. Weaker in the air than I remember too.

It was my first sight of the Blades youngster Gilmour, who looked very raw, got caught in possession and his distribution a little wayward. Wondered if might have been better to bring Mullin on, who has a reputation as a battler up front.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#56
I am surprised there has not been more praise for Smith. I thought he was instrumental in our best moves in the first half, good on the ball, quick and takes up some great positions.
 
30 Jun 2008
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#57
Good win. Any thoughts on why Monthe went on instead of Ellis? Also, when Buxton is fit would he be a good substitute for Harris in midfield when Jay gets the inevitable yellow card suspension?
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#58
I thought smith did ok. I'd probably give him 7.5 out of 10. He looked dangerous but as wingers often do he drifted out of the game. Clearly has ability though but league 2 is a step up for him after his good spell at fylde last season.

Drwhoman - I'm guessing it was monthe because he's left footed and Sutton was playing on the left side of the 2 centre backs. If McNulty went off it might have been Ellis but who knows. Manny did ok but as boz suggests does seem to panic a bit in possession.

Not sure Buxton is mobile enough to play in the middle. Technically Adam is very good but he does seem to have regular injuries over the years. Both Buxton and rides haven't had any pre season so suspect they are both way off being available.

First I've seen of gilmour. Has good energy and good on the ball but looked slightly like a headless chicken at times but perhaps trying too hard on his home debut. Harris worked very hard but is limited. He isn't great in possessions and gifted them a good chance early on.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#59
I agree with Sparky about Monthe and Buxton.

In addition to being left-footed, Monthe is a big unit and I think Mellon wanted to keep some height in the side. Cheltenham were massive and were a threat from set plays, including the long throw.

I think if Sutton is out for any length of time I would prefer Ellis to start. While Ritchie did ok prior to going off, his distribution is wayward at times and Ellis is better in possession.