Full-time report: Tranmere Rovers 0 Stevenage 0

Simon Heslop.
Picture By Stuart Bogg Imaging.

Simon Heslop. Picture By Stuart Bogg Imaging. - Credit: Archant

Boro and Tranmere share the spoils in their Sky Bet League 1 encounter

Tranmere Rovers 0 Stevenage 0

Sky Bet League 1

Stevenage extended their unbeaten league run to three games with a point at Prenton Park.

It was a game in which there were plenty of efforts at goal, but too few of them caused either goalkeeper too much to worry about.

Stevenage began the game with two changes from last week’s draw on home soil against Bradford City with James Dunne and Jordan Burrow making way for Simon Heslop and Jimmy Smith in a formation that left Boro without an orthodox striker.

Luke Freeman played that role, but in the early stages Tranmere countered his pace by sticking veteran centre-back Ian Goodison close to him with defensive partner Adam Dugdale further back should he escape the clutches of the Tranmere captain.

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There were half-chances in the opening stages, Joe Thompson turning his back on a cross and heading wide for the hosts and Michael Doughty seeing his shot deflected out for a corner, but for the most part the opening minutes were cat and mouse as each side worked out the opposition.

There was a penalty shout from both Ryan Lowe, playing up front for Rovers, and the home crowd on 20 minutes, but it was tenuous at best with Lowe upset with being superbly tackled by Ashton in the box.

Ashton was at it again moments later, this time throwing his body in front of James Rowe who had found some space before striking at goal. His shot, though, hit the Boro captain and Stevenage cleared their lines.

Tranmere had the best chance of the half five minutes before the break. Cutting in from the left, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro found himself with time to shoot 16 yards from goal and swung his boot around the ball with the bending shot clipping the left-hand post of Chris Day’s goal.

Freeman then went close for the visitors after being found by Doughty. Without support from his team-mates in the final third, he cut inside from the left wing, beat a defender and fired low and hard but just wide of Jason Mooney’s post.

Tranmere had three more shots on goal before the break, with Chris Atkinson forcing Day into one save before going close with a second while Ryan Lowe struck the hoardings just behind Day’s goal from a free-kick on the stroke of half-time.

Tranmere hit the bar for the second time in the game on the hour mark and it came out of nothing, the ball being cleared to Evan Horwood some 25 yards from the Boro goal with the full-back drilling a low shot against the foot of the woodwork before Stevenage cleared the rebound.

Both teams made changes as they looked to break the deadlock. For Stevenage, Oumare Tounkara and Jordan Burrow replaced Jimmy Smith and Greg Tansey, while at the back for Tranmere, Rovers boss Ronnie Moore brought on Ash Taylor for Goodison.

Michael Doughty and Robin Shroot teamed up for a decent chance, with the former weaving his way into the box before the latter took control of the ball and forced a blocking tackle from a Tranmere defender.

Freeman, now playing high up on the left, was the next Boro man to try to make his mark. Closely marked in the box, he turned his defender before pulling his shot wide of the far post and out for a goal kick.

There were, though, not many more chances after that, and what had began as a decent game slowly drifted out to a stalemate as both teams earned a point.

Tranmere Rovers: Mooney, Holmes, Horwood, Goodison (Taylor 60), Thompson (Sodje 82), Rowe, Atkinson, Power, Dugdale, Lowe, Akpa Akpro. Subs: Taylor, Ramsbottom, Stockton, Jones.

Stevenage: Day, Gray, Deacon, Hartley, Ashton, Heslop, Tansey (Burrow 60), Doughty (Wedgbury 87), Smith (Tounkara 56), Shroot, Freeman. Subs: Arnold, Hills, Jones, Lopez.

Ref: C Pawson