A well-structured and resilient Tranmere Rovers battled well against League One Peterborough United to secure a home replay following a 1-1 draw at the Axon Stadium.
An eventful first-half saw The Super Whites dominate much of the possession despite failing to open the scoring but the second half was a much different story.
The Rovers were caught on the back-foot from an early corner as a failure to properly clear the ball resulted in it landing directly in front of Jack Marriot who fired past Scott Davies from six-yards out.
Micky Mellon’s determined away-side side continued to attack and second-half substitute Andy Cook was the hero as he bagged home a looping header over after a tough battle inside The Posh’s penalty area.
It was a game that Tranmere needed following months of pressure regarding their National League form, and the side in white started well with some fluid passing beginning with midfielder Jeff Hughes.
The Northern Irishman was constantly to feed James Norwood but the striker, sporting a headband following a collision against Halifax on Saturday struggled to find a way through.
Mellon’s men resorted to long-range efforts to open the scoring midway through the first-half with Ollie Norburn firing a half-volley wide as Tranmere signalled their intent against a misshapen Peterborough side.
Norwood had the best opportunity of the first half as he forced goalkeeper Conor O’Malley into an instinct save to keep out a powerful low range effort.
The two sides went into the break with both Mellon and Grant McCann needing to speak to their players in what was a sluggish first-period overall.
In the second half, a much more aggressive Peterborough arrived and caused Scott Davies heaps of problems early on, but the Englishman was able to remain cool to parry a Marcus Maddison shot wide to keep the scores level.
The resulting corner was poorly cleared by the away side and a miscommunication from The Rovers defence allowed the ball to fall at the feet of Marriot who poked home from close range on the 52 minute mark.
Rovers refused to lie back and accept defeat and had two great chances to put themselves in front just moments later with 19-year-old Gerry McDonagh having the best chance but his header landed just yards wide from a Dylan Mottley-Henry cross.
With his side needing a goal, Mellon made the bold move of two substitutions as Andy Cook and Larnell Cole were introduced – replacing McDonagh and Conor Jennings in like-for-like changes.
The decision worked wonders as just minutes later a cross from the right hand side found Cook who headed goal-wards with the ball crucially dropping in at the back-post for the equaliser in the 72nd minute.
— Tranmere Rovers (@TranmereRovers) November 4, 2017
With Tranmere high on adrenaline after pulling level the goal seemed to have awoken some fight in Peterborough also as the home side pushed forward with intent of their own.
A Maddison free-kick was the most clear cut chance for either side in the closing 20-minutes but his effort sailed over the crossbar and some quick thinking by Davies allowed The Super Whites to launch a quick counter attack.
Some great link-up play starting from Hughes who started much of The Rovers’ attack, freed up Mottley-Henry but a long-range effort from Norburn was tipped over the crossbar despite teammates calling for the ball to be played out wide in one of the last chances of the game.
A chorus of boos rung around London Road as the referee blew the whistle for full-time as the travelling Super White Army rejoiced in celebration at the prospect of facing Peterborough at Prenton Park on November 15th.