By Josh Roberts
Tranmere Rovers took another step towards the play-offs after defeating Guiseley 4 – 0 at Prenton Park on Saturday.
It was the proverbial game of two halves for the Super White’s as they struggled to create chances in the first half against a resolute opposition struggling for form in the league.
All four goals came in the second half as James Norwood broke the deadlock, Connor Jennings grabbed two for himself and Andy Cook rounded off the scoring.
Norwood’s goal means both himself and his fellow strike partner Cook are in double figures for goals this season before the turn of the year.
Rovers stay sixth in a play-off position and eight points behind leaders Macclesfield but they have all the momentum going into the New Year for a strong promotion push and title charge.
The first half was devoid of many clear cut chances but Cook thought he had opened the scoring after just four minutes, poking home a cross from Norwood but the big no.9 was flagged offside by the assistant referee.
Rovers’ dominated possession but failed to make the Guiseley goalkeeper Jonathan Maxted make a save of note in the first half. The first ‘keeper called into action was Tranmere’s Scott Davies who kept the scores level on three different occasions pulling off a number of top saves.
First he dived low down to his left to smartly stop a glanced header from James Roberts. Next was a great piece of awareness; after Richie Sutton allowed the ball to bounce, Davies got a hand to ball to knock it away from the on running Guiseley forwards before getting a foot to the second ball to deny Alex Purver a shot at goal that would have almost certainly put the away side in front on the day.
The second half started in much the same vein of the first, Tranmere dominating but doing nothing with the ball but a moment of Norwood magic opened the floodgates for the Super White’s. After minutes earlier missing his customary one-on-one, the no.10 found himself on the edge of the area and curled a shot into the far corner giving Maxted no chance at a save.
Just five minutes later Jennings scored his fifth goal in four games after Ollie Norburn dinked a ball over the top of the defence, Jennings beat the offside trap to bring the ball down, weave inside and fire a shot across the goalkeeper to double Tranmere’s leader.
Jennings’ double earns him the man of the match and rightfully so, he’s been superb again today. Contender for player of the Month with this form! #TRFC
— Tranmere Talk (@TranmereTalk) December 30, 2017
Jennings then doubled his own tally on the day as Norwood’s cross wasn’t dealt with by the Guiseley defence, it fell kindly to the wide man who tucked away the third of the afternoon from ten yards out to secure all three points.
Tranmere scored four goals at home for the fourth time in the last six game as Cook made sure Rovers finished 2017 in style. Similar to Norwood’s goal, Cook received the ball on the edge of the box, turned and rifled in a shot from outside the area that gave the Guiseley man between the sticks no chance and compounded a poor second half performance from the Yorkshire side.
2017 will go down as the year what could have been for the Super White Army but Tranmere signed off the year in stylish fashion and will look to take that form into 2018 to ensure they finish the season strongly with promotion.