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Colchester United 1 Tranmere Rovers 5 - Match Report

by Mark Langshaw. Published Sun 24 Feb 2013 13:30, last updated: 24/02/13

Tranmere Rovers ended a run of straight defeats in stylish fashion, putting five past struggling Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Max Power, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Ash Taylor and Cole Stockton were all on target for Rovers before Michael O'Halloran completed the rout with a second-half penalty kick.

Akpa Akpro started upfront alongside new signing Mamady Sidibe and there was a place at the back for veteran Ian Goodison as Ronnie Moore made three changes from the side that was turned over by Swindon Town.

Rover drew first blood in the 11th minute courtesy of a top-draw strike from Power. Andy Robinson's corner was cleared only as far as the midfielder on the edge of the Colchester area, and he volleyed through a crowd and hit the roof of the net to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Owain Fon Williams kept the scores level when Colchester's Gavin Massey outpaced Michael Kay and fired towards goal, the Welsh international saving to his left on 17 minutes.

The hosts went one better less than 10 minutes later when a deflected shot from a set piece fell invitingly for Magnus Okuognhae, and he beat Fon Williams from point-blank range.

Rovers pressed for a second, with Robinson and Zoumana Bakayogo coming close before they got their just desserts four minutes before half time.

Akpa Akpro latched onto a pass from Taylor and left Josh Thompson for dead, before rounding Colchester keeper Sam Walker and placing the ball into a empty net.

Rovers extended their lead in the 65th minute after a relatively quiet opening to the second period. Sidibe combined with Kay and the latter's cross was headed in by Taylor from six yards out.

Stockton, who replaced Sidibe in the 70th minute, was a live wire since his introduction, and he made it four in the 85th minute, turning on the edge of the box and beating Walker with a right-footed drive.

There was still time for late drama as Thompson felled O'Halloran in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. The Bolton Wanderers loan star took the kick himself and buried it for a final score of 5-1.

The emphatic win did wonders for Rovers' promotion prospects, moving them up to third place. Although several of the teams around them have games in hand, Moore's men are now just one point off reclaiming the top spot.

COLCHESTER: Walker, David Wright (Bond), Okuonghae, Thompson, Garmston, White, Clifford (Morrison), Porter (Drey Wright), Sears, Ibehre, Massey

Subs not used: Cousins, Bean, Eastman, Wilson

Booked: Thompson

Goals: Okuonghae (29)

TRANMERE: Fon Williams, Kay, Taylor, Goodison, Bakayogo, O'Halloran, Power, Corry, Robinson (Black), Sidibe (Stockton), Akpa Akpro

Subs not used: Mooney, Holmes, Daniels, Harrison, Bell-Baggie

Booked: Corry

Goals: Power (11) Akpa Akpro (41) Taylor (65) Stockton (85) O'Halloran (90)

Follow Mark Langshaw on Twitter @MarkLangshaw


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