Rovers fly past The Gulls at Prenton Park
Tranmere Rovers picked up another three points at Prenton Park with their fourth consecutive home victory as they defeated Torquay United 3-0 on a wintry afternoon.
It was a game of few chances, but clinical finishing by Rovers ensured those chances were despatched and gave Micky Mellon’s side the three points.
Ollie Banks was the man at the heart of most of the early chances that went Rovers’ way in the first half, having a number of shots from outside the penalty area and forcing good defending and good goalkeeping from the Gulls’ rearguard to keep the score at 0-0.
The visitors lost midfielder Michee Efete to injury after 17 minutes after a collision with Scott Davies, leading to him being stretchered from the field.
Luke Young had the first real opportunity for Torquay, a low powerful shot was straight at Davies though.
Banks then had further efforts from range, testing the goalkeeper Vincent Durel before firing over the bar on the volley on 28 minutes after a dangerous Dylan Mottley-Henry cross was only half cleared.
The deadlock was broken on 36 minutes as Rovers took the lead.
Mottley-Henry delivered a pin-point accurate cross from the right and Connor Jennings leapt above his man and guided a header into the far corner of the net for the opening goal of the afternoon.
As half time approached, the visitors had a couple of efforts to equalise with Ruairi Keating firing over the bar from eight yards before Young hit a piledriver which Scott Davies had to get his fingertips to and turn around the post.
Six minutes after the restart, Rovers were close to a second goal when a dangerous cross was sent into the box, and Stephen McNulty nodded it towards goal only for Jazzi Barnum-Bobb to clear the ball off the line.
Josh McQuoid sent a header wide of the target for the visitors before, midway through the second period, Ollie Norburn was through on goal, he dinked the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper but again a defender cleared off the line to deny Rovers.
James Norwood got in behind the Torquay defence soon after but his lob, under pressure from two defenders, drifted wide of the target.
Jay Harris replaced Ollie Banks on 72 minutes before Norwood fired wide from 25 yards.
The second goal finally came on 79 minutes with Rovers killing off the visitors’ resistance.
Norwood cut in off the right hand side and fired in a low cross which Andy Cook met at the back post and just gently redirected it into the far corner of the net.
Four minutes later, Cook got his second goal of the afternoon thanks to Eddie Clarke. The 18-year-old full back raced down the left and then sent over an inch-perfect cross for Cook who leapt high and sent a powerful header into the corner of the net.
There were further opportunities Rovers’ way before the final whistle, Jennings curling over the bar the most notable of those.
But it was to end 3-0, with a good, solid performance resulting in three goals and three important points.
The result leaves Rovers in 9th position in the National League, with a game in hand on many of the teams above them.
Tranmere Rovers: Davies; Buxton, Sutton McNulty; Mottley-Henry, Norburn, Jennings, Banks (Harris 72), Clarke; Cook, Norwood (McDonagh 86). Subs not used: Pilling, Hughes, Gumbs.
Torquay United: Durel; Efete (Andressen 17), Davies, Lathrope, McGinty, Young, Keating (Pittman 61), McQuoid (Gnabouyou 61), Barnum-Bobb, Reid, Davey. Subs not used: Clarke, Myrie-Williams.
Attendance: 4569 (116)