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Tranmere’s grit and determination delights Micky Mellon

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 2021-12-07
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Tranmere boss Micky Mellon was delighted to see his side bounce back in style with a dramatic 1-0 victory at struggling Oldham

Rovers were thumped 4-0 at Leyton Orient in the FA Cup on Saturday, but they produced an impressive response, with Charlie Jolley slotting home a 90th-minute winner at Boundary Park.

Mellon, whose side are two points off the League Two play-offs, said: “We needed to respond in that way.

“The kind of performance we put in at Orient just was not us. The necessary effort just wasn’t there.

“We can feel sorry for ourselves and all the rest of it, but it was all about a response tonight, and I got that.

“The lads were gritty and determined – just like we needed to be here – and we were much more purposeful.”

Jolley notched his first goal of the season after recently returning from a loan spell at Chester.

He said: “I’m delighted for Charlie. I just felt he needed a chance to stick one away, he worked his socks off all night.

“He deserved that because he did well at Chester. He deserved to get the nod, and what a great way for the lad to end the game.

“On a really cold night, he certainly made me feel warm at the end. Overall we were miles better tonight, and we were backed by a brilliant away following.

“It was important we showed more of that fibre you need to get a good result.”

Oldham went closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when Davis Keillor-Dunn thumped an 18-yard strike against the crossbar.

After the restart Oldham striker Zak Dearnley was thwarted by Calum MacDonald’s goal-line clearance, but it was Jolley’s late winner – minutes after Rovers substitute Kieron Morris hit the post – that proved a bitter blow from Oldham interim boss Selim Benachour.

He also questioned the referee’s decision to order a first-half Benny Couto corner to be retaken as the first one had led to a goal.

Benachour, who also confirmed that he is keen to take on the Oldham manager role permanently, said: “That was unbelievable. The referee said the ball just moved a little bit, so the corner had to be taken again.

“It’s a shame because I thought we played a great game. We played some good football and created lots of chances.

“I have to feel sorry for the players – they gave me everything tonight. We created chances, but I guess we just weren’t efficient enough in the final third.

“We could have been two or three-nil in front at half-time, but in the end the scenario turned out differently.

“We know we have to do better because of the position we’re in, but we’ll just try to keep on building momentum.

“I will always protect my players if they keep playing like this. We need to be together – we’ve shown a lot of good things and a lot of quality.”

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