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Micky Mellon cannot hide delight after Tranmere’s win over Exeter

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 2021-12-11
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Tranmere manager Micky Mellon could not hide his delight after watching his side seal a hard-earned 1-0 win at promotion rivals Exeter

Elliott Nevitt scored the only goal of the game on 17 minutes when he drilled home at the far post, while Callum McManaman was sent off in stoppage time for a shocking tackle on Exeter’s Kyle Taylor.

But that could not take the gloss off a fine display from the men from the Wirral, who defended stoutly and limited Exeter to very few opportunities.

“We knew the type of performance we would need to come to a tough place like Exeter,” Mellon said. “To come down and put in a performance like that is really pleasing.

“Exeter had a lot of possession but we stayed strong and resolute. But we had some unbelievable chances to put the game to bed, some one-v-ones, we hit the post twice, and the keeper has made a couple of saves.

“So there were opportunities for us to get that second goal which would have given us a more comfortable time in the game.

“All credit to the defensive lads, our keeper had only one to save to make. Every game is different and it asks you different things and today it asked us to defend the 18-yard box and we had to be first to the ball. We answered the questions really and got a really valuable three points.

“We had a lot of chances, we had a bit of pace in the team and when a team that presses as high as Exeter did, the grass in behind is inviting for players with pace.”

Exeter manager Matt Taylor felt his side lacked confidence and that was telling in their first-half display as they slipped to a second home defeat in a week.

“I thought we looked short of confidence in that first half, if I’m being honest with you,” Taylor said.

“Half-time was all about trying to make ourselves feel better and they tried their hardest in the second half.

“They were running out of legs in the second half and found it very difficult to break down a well organised Tranmere team and we didn’t quite have the quality in all areas with or without the ball.

“Too many were below par in that first period and then it is an uphill battle. We were pushing and pushing, but we didn’t quite have it in us today.

“It felt like we had a lot of opportunities in and around their box, but we didn’t pull the trigger with any conviction, or cross the ball with any conviction.

“I don’t want to be too hard on the players because they have been fantastic, they shouldn’t question what they have done so far, but times like this they have to show who they are.”

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