Match report: Tranmere Rovers 0 - 0 Stockport County
By Mark Gorton
2nd Nov 2022 | Local Sport
No passes is a positive if you're a contestant on Mastermind, but didn't make for a great game of football last night at Prenton Park.
In a far from gripping and stuttering encounter, both sides failed to play anything like flowing football for the first 20 minutes - until, for a short spell, Tranmere began to ping the ball about and looked like the side which was able recently to notch up five wins on the spin.
Frustratingly, this revival was brief and the game reverted to type. It was a chilly night and what was on display, combined with some questionable refereeing decisions in Stockport County's favour, stoked up resentment among the home fans desperately in need of action inspiring some hand-warming applause.
In the first half, County, managed by one-time Tranmere long-throw centre back hero Dave Challinor, looked the most likely to go ahead, though shots on target could be counted on the fingers of no hands. At least Rovers managed one, though this was a scuffed effort that rolled invitingly into the County keeper's embrace.
After a couple of bad results, Tranmere seem to be lacking confidence - the performance yesterday desperately needed someone to put a foot on the ball, look up and see plenty of inviting movement off it. None of this, apart from that brief period of hope in the first 45, was happening.
In addition, the side's set-up and mind set suggested manager Micky Mellon would be happy with a point. Rovers did look more threatening in the second half, making inroads down both right and left and getting the ball into the box - with one notable possibility of a goal that went wide from close range. And yet somehow there was an overall sense, particularly in the dying minutes, that scoring was not the top priority. The players lacked urgency.
So a point Tranmere got when the game ended - almost inevitably - nil-nil. You can understand the management dilemma - fans left the stadium a little disgruntled but, on the other hand, defeat at home by a side below Tranmere in the League Two table would have caused apoplexy.
Leaving Prenton Park, an elderly supporter had a seasonal solution to Rovers' problems. "At this time of year," he said, "there should be plenty of fireworks to put up their a***s."
A disappointing match but, as ever, a good night out at a great little football club - and fair play to the County supporters who turned up on a cold Tuesday night in their many hundreds.