Match Preview: Maidstone United vs Tranmere Rovers

By Peter Tscherewik

Tranmere Rovers will be looking to bounce back quickly from Tuesday’s 4-1 home defeat to league leaders Macclesfield Town, as they travel down south to face Maidstone United this weekend.

Rovers had been in red hot form at home prior to that match, having registered nine domestic wins in a row at Prenton Park. Micky Mellon’s side have only the 17th best away record in the division this season, and will need a positive result on Saturday to stay in the title hunt.

Team News

Micky Mellon will be without Evan Gumbs (broken leg) and Jake Kirby (knee ligament damage) after the pair sustained injuries in the last 10-days.

New loan signing Manny Monthe could be make his debut from the start for Rovers as captain Steve McNulty is struggling with a ‘niggling injury’ ahead of the weekend.

James Wallace is still short of match fitness and is unlikely to play for Tranmere for at least another week or two as he recovers fully after suffering a setback.

Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders revealed this week that he has ‘one or two things to look at in terms of players’ availability’.

Blair Turgott will be available for The Stones this weekend after he was unable to play against his parent club on Tuesday.

View from the Dugout

Micky Mellon: “We’re going into another tough game, on the 4G, preparing to do well and pick up a valuable three points.

“It’s always difficult going onto the 4G, we’re aware of that, but every game in this league is tough for different reasons.

“We have to go down there with the right mentality, it doesn’t matter what has happened before, so we know we have to be at our best to go down there and get a result.”

Recent Form

Prior to Tuesday’s home fixture against Macclesfield Town, Rovers had won nine games in succession at Prenton Park (domestically).

Tranmere were embarrassed against The Silkmen, but as Micky Mellon’s men proved when they lost 5-2 to AFC Fylde on January 1 they have a tendency to bounce-back well.

Maidstone lost 1-0 away to play-off hopefuls Boreham Wood on Tuesday, with Angelo Balanta’s goal succumbing The Stones to their second successive defeat.

Jay Saunders’s side have NOT won a game in the National League since November 11, having registered seven draws and nine losses since.

Author Predictions

Joel Lampkin: 1-3 – Confidence has taken a massive hit after losing to Macclesfield, but the players can’t afford to feel sorry for themselves. The have to get going straight away and a win with authority will get them back on track with only a couple of slip ups helping them get back into the title picture.

Josh Roberts: 1-2 – Rovers will be wanting to right the wrongs from Tuesday which saw them slip out of contention for the title but there is a lot to play for in terms of play offs. Away form hasn’t been Tranmere’s strong suit this season and Maidstone’s plastic pitch could cause problems but nothing less than a win will please the Super White Army on Saturday.

Peter Tscherewik: 0-2 – Tranmere have to win this game if they are to stay in contention with the teams at the top of the table. The defeat to Macclesfield was tough to take and the scoreline was nothing shy of embarrassing. Maidstone are without a win in the league since mid-November and have really struggled for goals of late, so I cannot see them being able to handle Tranmere, particularly in attack.

George Williamson: 0-3 – A resounding victory for Rovers who will be looking to bounce back quickly after Tuesday’s thrashing from Macclesfield.


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