MATCH PREVIEW: Tranmere Rovers vs Maidstone United

By George Williamson

Rovers go into this one on the back of conceding two consecutive stoppage time goals to cost them points against Gateshead and Macclesfield as their play-off push begins to stutter, while Maidstone sit 7th in the National League, but have failed to win in their last two.

Team News

Midfielder Jay Harris will serve the last of his three-match ban for his red card in last week’s FA Cup defeat to Peterborough.

Jeff Hughes will have to pass a late fitness test to be involved.

Long-term absentees James Wallace, Jake Kirby, Ben Tollitt and Jack Dunn remain out for Saturday’s game.

For Maidstone, Zavon Hines should be ready to go after being withdrawn during Tuesday’s defeat to Boreham Wood.

If he doesn’t make it, academy debutant Rhys Bartlett could be in line to make his first start for the club.

Alex Winter is out with an eye injury, while Josh Hare is out with a back injury.

Delano Sam-Yorke returns from suspension.

View from the Dugout

Rovers boss Micky Mellon: “I always try to be fair and be honest because I think it’s the only way to be, and if we start talking about things like luck then it looks like we’re using that as a bit of an excuse.

“I would just say that we have to get better at taking our chances. They are coming along and we are creating them so I am pleased about that, we just have to improve in what is probably the most important thing and that is putting the ball in the net.”

United boss Jay Saunders: “There’s no easy games in this league, we’ve got to pick ourselves up.

“We’d had one defeat in 14 games before Saturday.

“I said to the boys in the dressing room, we’ve got to pick ourselves up and move on.

“Tranmere isn’t the easiest place to go to try and start a run again.”

Stat Attack

Versus Maidstone United Stat

Last Time Out

Last season, an inexperienced Tranmere team picked up a 1-0 win in the away fixture with Sam Ilesanmi scoring the only goal of the game.

Full Time: Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Maidstone United

Author predictions

Josh Roberts: 1-1

Confidence will be low in the camp after the last three poor results and the club need some big results to get momentum back for the play-off charge.

I can’t see that result coming here though as the opposition are also chasing the play-offs and sit in a much better position than the Super Whites.

Joel Lampkin: 2-1

A second injury time goal has cost Tranmere Rovers five vital points, and anything other than a win against Maidstone and Micky Mellon must be fearing the worst.

The strikers are struggling to find the back of the net with simple chances and the defenders are losing their heads in vital moments.

However, with the visitors conceding five in their past two games it will be a toss-up game that could be decided on mistakes alone.

George Williamson: 1-2

Late goals have hampered Rovers of late, and those defensive jitters could continue to cost the Super Whites points against Maidstone this week.

United have been no pushovers this season either, and the 4-0 defeat to Boreham Wood in mid-week spectacularly ended a nine-game unbeaten run for the side.

They’ll be looking to bounce back strong, and although Rovers are no slouches themselves, I expect United to respond to the humbling with a win.

Peter Tscherewik: 1-0

Tranmere have really struggled for goals recently, and I don’t expect this to be a high scoring affair.

Micky Mellon’s side have been conceding a lot of late goals but I fancy them to bounce back from that with a tight win here.

 

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