It’s crunch time for City

Just three weeks ago the Tranmere chairman was so concerned with the team’s future, as they had taken only nine points from the previous 18 games.

Looking back he needn’t have worried too much, as since the signing at that time, of a new manager in the shape of Ronnie Moore, Tranmere have not had occasion to worry and they have collected 14 points from the last six games. Unfortunately, three of the much coveted points came from Exeter City’s visit to Prenton Park last Saturday. The defeat made it five losses in a row for Exeter, their worst run of League form since February 2003. The Grecians remain second from bottom in League One, six points from safety with seven games remaining.

Whilst everyone in their hearts wants to keep positive, these are very bleak times for the Grecians, as the numbers look very menacing. This season has seen Exeter haunted by the spectre of bad luck from beginning to end, and if we are to survive in League One, a complete change of fortune has to come about.

For some this will be seen as clutching at straws, but that's exactly what we need to do, and winning games at any cost is what is needed. How different the game might have been on Saturday if the referee, with just two minutes on the clock, had seen Tranmere’s Ian Goodison punch City loanee Lauri Dalla Valle full in the face. As it turned out the 2-0 score line was a little less comfortable for Tranmere as Exeter’s resistance, as we would expect, was never less than dogged and became more ambitious after falling behind to Joss Labadie’s 49th minute strike.

Pressing hard for an equaliser during a period of pressure midway through the second-half, Exeter were denied by Ian Goodison’s goalmouth clearance. In their determination to salvage some sort of result City were still throwing men forward in stoppage time when Tranmere substitute Jake Cassidy finished them off with a second goal on the counter-attack.

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As always there were positives from the game and a major one was the return of David Noble for City who was in the thick of everything.

Loanee Pat Baldwin was a rock at left back. James Dunne came agonisingly close when his long throw found its way back to him, but his sweetly-struck volley crashed against the angle of post and bar. New loanee Rohan Ricketts was handed a debut, albeit in the last few minutes, which bodes well for likely appearances in the remaining games. Paul Tisdale also hopes to have new signing Alan Gow available for the visit of Colchester on Saturday. Gow, who joined on a free transfer last week, left Indian club East Bengal in January.

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This Saturday City welcome Colchester to St James Park. They currently occupy ninth place in the table with 52 points. They have won five, lost six and drawn seven of the 18 games on their travels.

They have drawn their last five matches. Nothing but a kick start win is what we need, and this Saturday the City ground is the place to be.

Anything is possible. Come on you Reds.

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