Match Preview: Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley

By Louise Formston
August 28 2016

The Bank Holiday weekend football action continues on Monday evening as Rovers host Guiseley in a live televised game at Prenton Park.  Once again Louise brings us her Match Preview ahead of the game....






Bank Holiday Monday sees Tranmere Rovers head back to Prenton Park as they play hosts to Guiseley AFC under the gaze of the BT Sport cameras.  With a tea-time kick off and a chance to show the world (kind of) what potential National League Champions actually look like Rovers will be looking to return to winning ways whilst Guiseley go in search of their first points of the season.

Form Guide:

Rovers’ draw against Southport on Saturday meant they stay top of the National League table, a point ahead of Dagenham and Redbridge.  Despite being unbeaten all season, there was a sense of two points dropped rather than one point gained as the Rovers fans exited Haig Avenue at the weekend. Tranmere’s defence is strong, they’ve conceded three all season – one of which was a cruelly deflected shot against Southport but they could do with putting away more of their chances.

Guiseley have yet to register any points this season.  They sit at the bottom of the table having conceded 17 goals this season, scoring just 8 of their own. Guiseley were on the wrong end of 4-1 score line at the weekend when they hosted Bromley.

Previous Meetings:

Last season’s were the first meetings between the sides.  The first, at Prenton Park saw Rovers keep all three points on the Wirral thanks to two goals from James Norwood, although one from Danny Boshell contributed to the whole affair.  The return leg ended in a 2-2 draw, James Hurst grabbing a double for Guiseley; whilst an own goal from Rob Atkinson and a Jake Kirby strike ensured the points were shared.

Injuries and Suspensions:

Steve Jennings went another game without a booking – he’s two away from a one-match suspension, which considering its still August is impressive. Liam Ridehalgh came on during the second half against Southport and showed no signs of any injury still lingering.  Lee Vaughan was subbed off during Saturday’s game but I think this was purely tactical rather than due to any injury concerns.

Guiseley have no new injury concerns heading into Monday’s game.

Darren Stephenson is yet to really feature for Rovers this season

The Opposition Dugout:

Guiseley dismissed Mark Bower, and his assistant Danny Boshell last week after a dismal start to the 2016/2017 campaign.  Centre-back Adam Lockwood has taken temporary charge of the team in the hope of lifting them off the bottom of the table.  The search for a permanent manager for Guiseley goes on.  The 34-year old, prior to becoming a manager, had a fairly successful lower league career.  After starting out at Reading, he featured for Maidstone, Forest Green, and Yeovil before signing for Doncaster going on to make over 150 appearances for them.

Following his release from Doncaster Lockwood joined Bury in League One and featured in their 3-0 loss at Prenton Park in 2012, picking up a yellow card during the game. Lockwood was released from Bury in 2013 and signed for Guiseley, quickly becoming a fan favourite and attracting the attention of League Clubs once again. Oldham won the right to his signature in January 2014 and Lockwood was a hit at Boundary Park, extending his contract till the end of June 2015.  But with Guiseley promoted to the National League in the same month, Lockwood returned to Guiseley. Whether he choses to apply for the permanent position of manager is still unknown.

Who’s Who - Guiseley Edition:

31-year old Michael Rankine has started all six games for Guiseley this season after signing from Altrincham in the summer; scoring two so far this campaign. Rovers’ fans might remember Rankine as he scored the winner for Altrincham against Tranmere on Bank Holiday Monday last August. Oli Johnson has also got two goals for Guiseley this season.

The striker has had a decent career; playing for Stockport County, Norwich City and Oxford United as well as a spell at York City – for whom he scored a volley handing them all three points at Prenton Park in 2011.  Defender Marcus Williams signed for Guiseley in the summer, after spending last season in India with Kerala Blasters – whose former players include Iain Hume and David James.  Goalkeeper Daniel Atkinson was dropped against Bromley at the weekend, but it did not have the desired effect as his arguably more experienced replacement Tim Deasy still let four in.

Around the League:

Forest Green vs Southport:   FGR are now just a win away from catching Tranmere at the top of the table, but they play host to Southport who will hopefully kick on with their season after celebrating Saturday’s result like they’d won at Wembley.

Lincoln City vs Gateshead:  Two of my preseason favourites for the title meet each other on Monday as they both aim to put some distance between themselves in the play offs and the chasing pack behind.

Sutton United vs Dag & Red:  Rovers’ closest rivals in the table take on newly promoted Sutton United, who until the weekend when they were hammered by Chester had been doing okay in the National League.

Please note all games are a 3pm KO apart from Tranmere vs Guiseley.

My Starting XI:


Vaughan       McNulty       Ihiekwe       Hughes


 S. Jennings

Mekki                                        Stephenson

 C. Jennings.


The back four picks itself at the minute.  Hughes was left looking very vulnerable on Saturday but the players will be aware of that and more than likely Maynard will be instructed to provide extra support.  I’ve dropped Jay Harris and Andy Cook; not due them playing badly but simply because against a team that has conceded 17 we need to go with pace and we need to go with players who can pick out balls. Oh and the fact we need to try something different sooner or later!

Maynard will continue to provide cover for the defence whilst Steve Jennings can remain in a more advance midfield role. I’ve only seen Stephenson play once before (against Bolton) but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be given a try. Mekki caused no end of problems in the last few minutes against Southport once he was allowed out wide and send balls into the box.  Connor Jennings doesn’t look like a winger to me, he very often choses the wrong option and very rarely seems to get his head up! However, sitting in the hole behind Norwood, I feel we might see a very different player.

As for Norwood, he does a great job on the wing, often creating his own chances but I want to see him back up front and with any combination of Mekki, C Jennings and Stephenson for support, I think he’ll do fine there.

Should it all go wrong, well there’s Andy Cook on the bench who could be brought on to give a different option, whilst Jay Harris could also be brought on if the midfield is over run.

Score Prediction?:

I can’t remember us winning on TV in a very long time but I’d like Monday to change that. 3-1 Tranmere

pqs: qs:
Match Preview: Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley
Posted by: Total Tranmere (IP Logged)
Date: 28/08/2016 12:03

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Re: Match Preview: Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley
Posted by: Hoots Mon (IP Logged)
Date: 28/08/2016 12:27

There seems to be a query as to the number of bookings Steve Jennings has had. I think it may be four not three. There seems to be some suggestion on one site that it was Connor not Steve who got the yellow card in one particular game.It needs sorting out either way

Re: Match Preview: Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley
Posted by: prentonpete1 (IP Logged)
Date: 28/08/2016 17:23

If we can't beat these comfortably with the proper chosen side,we don't deserve promotion,it was not good enough on Saturday,their young centre half won everything in the air and Almond was a revelation when he came on.

Re: Match Preview: Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley
Posted by: the kav (IP Logged)
Date: 28/08/2016 20:07

We won our last tv game home to lincoln

Re: Match Preview: Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley
Posted by: Matt34 (IP Logged)
Date: 28/08/2016 22:17

This has to be a must win to maintain the notion that Tranmere can compete for honours; a notion set up by the 5 straight wins.

I also would like to see Stephenson getting a run out, as a high scoring winger in the division below, should hardly look hugely ineffective, you could be forgiven for thinking, against a team that can't buy a win right now.

Then I ate his Liver.......... with some baked beans and a can of coke.

Re: Match Preview: Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley
Posted by: Higgosboots (IP Logged)
Date: 29/08/2016 08:36

This has to be a must win to maintain the notion that Tranmere can compete for honours; a notion set up by the 5 straight wins.
I also would like to see Stephenson getting a run out, as a high scoring winger in the division below, should hardly look hugely ineffective, you could be forgiven for thinking, against a team that can't buy a win right now.

Reading the echo he's not in contention, Ridehalgh, Kirby, Mekki in line for starts, I would like to see him given 90 minutes though, he will take time to adapt and the longer he doesn't feature the further into the season it gets before he is ready, we don't what his contract says though he may have been brought in a s a prospect as opposed to a first team contender, unless the echoes a bit of Brabin attempting deceit.

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