By Josh Roberts
Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon was delighted to see his side come away with a “massively valuable three points” after beating Maidstone 3 – 2 on Saturday.
Two goals in the last five minutes from Andy Mangan, but it may go down as an Alex Finney own goal, and a 90th minute penalty by Adam Buxton secured the win.
The result means Tranmere move back up to third in the table after slipping down to sixth on Tuesday evening and Micky Mellon recognised how big a result it was today.
“It’s a massive, important result for us.
“In the way the game went, 2 – 1, to dig out a result, we’re delighted with that. It was very difficult, the conditions were made difficult by the officials let’s get that right.
“I don’t think the game went more than 30 seconds [without the whistle being blown] which makes it difficult to get any kind of flow in the game,” said Mellon.
It wasn’t just the game that wasn’t allowed to flow, but Tranmere as well had they had a number of first team players out.
Captain Steve McNulty, Liam Ridehalgh and Eddie Clarke were all unavailable which meant Jeff Hughes was brought in a left back, but his afternoon was ended early.
🤕 | Clarke, Ridehalgh, McNulty all miss out in defence for Rovers. Monthe makes his debut. Depleted side means Hughes and Dunn also earn starts. #TRFC ⚪️🔵
— Tranmere Talk (@TranmereTalk) February 24, 2018
“We got an injury to Jeff [Hughes] so we had to make a little change there and then we end up playing with two wingers at wing back with a back three,” said Mellon.
Despite the setbacks, the gaffer was pleased with how the players who came into the side played as well as the subsitutes.
“We’ve got players that work hard and deserve an opportunity to come in, so they’ve came in today and did that.
“Every credit to the subs who come on, I’m delighted for Mangy [Andy Mangan] who’s come on and scored a good goal and [Ben] Tollitt’s made a very good impact for us,” said Mellon.
The boss wasn’t entirely pleased with the performance on show, picking out what his side could, and should have done better throughtout the 90 minutes.
“We certainly never passed it well enough, the decision making, we would have to say, wasn’t what it should be for the standards that we set.
“At times we gave the ball away far, far too cheaply when we went forward too quickly,” said Mellon.
With the side not performing well without a number of key personnel, it bodes well that they could still grind out the three points.