Off the back of starting October with three points against Barrow on Tuesday, the Mariners head across the Pennines to Birkenhead with Tranmere Rovers our opponents in this weekend’s Sky Bet League Two match.
Goals from strikers Danny Rose and Donovan Wilson – his second from the bench in as many matches – gave Paul Hurst’s side their first victory since a 2-0 home win against Gillingham and he spoke after the match of his eagerness to see the team build on the three points.
After missing the first eight matches of the season after picking up an injury in pre-season, Donovan Wilson has now made three appearances from the bench, scoring almost immediately in each of his last two outings.
Understanding the fans’ desire to see him from the start, Hurst urged caution as he looks to bring back the 26-year-old responsibly after such a long absence with injury. Speaking post-match, however, the manager did speak favourably of the tactical options the recent returns of both Wilson and Rekeil Pyke give him as, until recently, he was only able to name one recognised striker in his matchday squad with Danny Rose also having missed a couple of matches with injury.
Niall Maher, after picking up an injury against Wrexham, missed the Crawley and Swindon matches before returning as a second-half substitute against Barrow. The defender will be looking to come back into the XI this weekend.
Saturday’s hosts come into this weekend’s match fresh from defeating Bradford City 2-1 on Tuesday night, a result that saw the Bantams part company with manager Mark Hughes after their disappointing start to the season.
Tranmere currently find themselves one place above the relegation zone with a two-point buffer on Forest Green. The Prenton Park club have three wins to their name this season, including the three points against Bradford.
Their poor start to the season saw Rovers dispatch with manage Ian Dawes in September with just three points from their first seven matches. He has since been replaced on an interim basis by former Premier League manager Nigel Adkins.
This summer saw them recruit striker Luke Norris, a man who was a regular – along with the Mariners’ own summer signing Danny Rose – for League Two promotion winners Stevenage last term. Norris, however, is currently out with a foot injury and appears unlikely to play this weekend.
They also brought back Connor Jennings, a man who made almost 150 league appearances for the club in his first spell, after he suffered relegation to the National League with Hartlepool.
Midfielder Josh Hawkes is their top scorer so far this season with four goals to his name.
After seeing manager Dawes depart following a poor start to the season, Tranmere have won two of their four games since Adkins took over – with both of those coming at home.
Indeed, Tranmere have yet to pick up a point away from home with five losses to their name on the road and all three of their league victories have all come at home against teams that currently find themselves in 15th position or lower in the shape of Accrington Stanley (15th) and Harrogate Town (19th).
Saturday’s hosts have conceded twenty league goals so far this season across their eleven matches, scoring fifteen. In comparison, the Mariners have scored fourteen and seen fifteen scored by opponents.
Both teams come into Saturday’s encounter off the back of midweek victories while each side has been on the wrong end of three results in our last five with three losses apiece.
The same fixture last season saw Tranmere win 2-0 in April while the Mariners were victorious at Blundell Park last December, picking up the three points after a 2-1 triumph with goals from Brendan Kiernan and Niall Maher.
Our last victory at Prenton Park came in December 1998 when we picked up the three points in the second tier after a 2-1 win.
Supporters in the UK and overseas will be able to watch the match live on Mariners TV for just £10 with match passes available HERE.