James Norwood’s strike strengthened Tranmere Rovers’ Play-Off credentials with a 1-0 victory against Crewe Alexandra as Friday night football returned to Prenton Park.
League Two’s leading scorer netted his 26th of the campaign in the second half, clinching a fourth consecutive triumph for Micky Mellon’s side.
With another home fixture upcoming against Grimsby Town on Tuesday evening, the Whites have a great opportunity to maintain their quest to finish in the top seven in May.
Rovers came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening stages under the lights on the Wirral. Norwood slashed his effort wide after capitalising on a defensive error, before slipping through Jonny Smith who lacked composure one-on-one with the Alex goalkeeper Ben Garratt.
The Railwaymen began to find some control after early TRFC pressure. Chris Porter, who is the top scorer for the Cheshire club this term, was denied by a smart stop on the half-hour mark by Tranmere Captain Scott Davies.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Referee Martin Coy waved away appeals from the Super White Army for a penalty after January recruit Ben Pringle tumbled in the area.
After a cagey beginning to the second period, 51 minutes in, Norwood reacted sharply in the box, rifling against the woodwork in front of a packed out Essar Kop Stand.
He grabbed the opener 15 minutes later, placing the ball past Garratt following tenacious strength to work himself into a shooting position.
Davies was on hand to prevent a late Crewe equaliser with a save from point blank range, in what proved to be the last meaningful action of the match.
Norwood on fire
Tranmere’s talisman put in a man of the match display and was the spearhead in Rovers picking up all three points against David Artell’s side. The striker showed his killer instincts in front of goal to nestle home his 23rd league goal this season.
Friday night success
In the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, football at Prenton Park was regularly played on a Friday. The victory means Rovers have recorded two out of two wins in their Friday night fixtures this campaign, with the first coming against Macclesfield Town in October.