Final whistle match report: Tranmere 1 Hartlepool United 1

ON THE ATTACK: Jon Franks runs at the Tranmere defence. Picture by Kevin McGuinness
ON THE ATTACK: Jon Franks runs at the Tranmere defence. Picture by Kevin McGuinness
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RONNIE Moore had to settle for a point on his return to Tranmere Rovers after an enthralling 1-1 draw.

Moore was sacked by Rovers in April for a breach of betting rules and was keen to prove a point on his old stomping ground.

In the end he had to settle for just the one, despite an impressive performance from his side who had more than enough chances to get all three.

It was the best away showing of the season so far but the gap to safety remains nine points at the bottom of Sky Bet League Two.

Kayode Odejayi gave the home side a 12th minute lead but Scott Fenwick equalised two minutes later at Prenton Park.

Moore made two changes to his side following the 3-0 defeat at Shrewsbury, with Fenwick and Matthew Bates coming in for Jack Compton and Marlon Harewood.

It was a bright start to proceedings at Prenton Park, with Scott Flinders called on to make comfortable saves from Kayode Odejayi and Danny Holmes in the opening three minutes.

Michael Woods, a bright spark for Pools, then burst through in the fifth minute before curling a fine effort towards the top right-hand corner.

Owain Fon Williams with the fine stop to palm the 20-yard effort over the bar.

The home keeper was called on again shortly after to deal with a Rakish Bingham shot from the edge of the area.

Pools had started well but fell behind in the 12th minute through ODEJAYI’S volley from 15-yards.

Rory Donnelly was given too much space by Michael Duckworth to be able to whip in a deep cross towards the Rovers striker, who was in acres of space and able to guide his shot home.

It was a hammerblow for Pools but they were level within two minutes.

Aaron Tshibola with good work down the right, Bingham failed to connect with his cross but the ball fell to Woods whose shot was saved by Fon Williams.

FENWICK was on the spot to equalise from five-yards to cue wild celebrations from the away support, who were in fine voice.

The travelling fans were singing “Ronnie Moore, he bets when he wants” in recognition of Moore’s sacking from Rovers for breaching betting rules back in April.

Lee Molyneux dipped a free-kick just over the crossbar in the 25th minute before Bingham failed to make the most of an attempt from inside the area.

With 32 minutes gone, Tshibola’s 30-yard piledriver flashed over Fon Williams’ crossbar while Duckworth also saw a curling effort fly wide of the left-hand post.

Franks should have put Pools 2-1 up just before the break, he was played in by Woods but dallied over his shot and Holmes came flying in to block.

Half-Time: Tranmere 1 Pools 1

Pools were dealt a blow less than five minutes into the re-start with Fenwick having to be replaced by Marlon Harewood.

The striker went down off the ball with an injury to his right-arm and couldn’t continue.

They failed to settle following Fenwick’s departure as Tranmere enjoyed their best spell of the match.

Rovers boss Micky Adams made a double sub just past the hour mark with Jennison Myrie-Williams and Jason Koumas coming on for Molyneux and Fenelon.

With Harewood leading the line and Bingham moved to the left wing, Pools continued to carve out openings.

Jones - who had just cleared from underneath his own crossbar - had a tame header easily gathered before Bingham’s low shot was easily gathered by Fon Williams.

with 15 minutes left to play Bingham had a glorious chance to give Pools the lead.

Franks did well to get a cross in but Bingham couldn’t beat his man to the header, the ball fell to him but his follow-up didn’t trouble Fon Williams.

Cole Stockton then came on for Odejayi as the tension continued to build at Prenton Park.

With 85 minutes on the clock, the ball broke to Max Power on the edge of the area but he could only flash his shot inches wide of the left-hand post.

The Pools bench though Franks had won it in the 90th minute, his shot was deflected inches wide of Fon Williams’ post before Bingham did the same from 25-yards two minutes later.

In the end they had to settle for one point.

Full-Time: Tranmere 1 Pools 1

Tranmere (4-5-1): Fon Williams, Holmes, Power, Ihiekwe, Taylor, Molyneux (Koumas, 62), Jennings (C), Fenelon (Myrie-Williams, 62), Donnelly, Thompson, Odejayi (Stockton, 79).

Subs Not Used: Brezovan, Ridehalgh, Laird, Kirby.

Goals: Odejayi (12)

Bookings: Fenelon (42)

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders (C), Duckworth, Harrison, Jones, Austin, Bates, Woods, Tshibola, Bingham, Franks, Fenwick (Harewood, 51).

Subs Not Used: Maxted, Holden, Hawkins, Featherstone, Walker, Compton

Goals: Fenwick (14)

Bookings: None

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear)

Attendance: 5,488 (Pools 420)