There was only one goal between Forest Green and Tranmere last week but that was a surprise given the way the match started and both teams can get on the scoresheet in tonight’s second leg.
Tranmere were given a golden opportunity when Forest Green defender Gavin Gunning was sent off in just the 15th minute, and they duly went a goal in front thanks to Ollie Banks’ stunning strike. But they dominated the game thereafter and will feel frustrated to return with only a one-goal advantage for the return leg.
They dominated the shots count, having five on target to none for the visitors, they had 62% of possession for 38% for Forest Green, and they also won the corner count 3-1 as Tranmere battered the away goal. It beggars belief that James Norwood, who was League 2’s top striker this season, didn’t manage to put away one of his early second-half chances there given his form during the regular season.
They may come to regret that at the end of 90 minutes tonight, with Forest Green sure to take a more attacking approach to suit their frontmen of Junior Mondal and Christian Doidge, who scored 14 goals in just 25 starts. He ended the regular season with five goals in his last five appearances.
Tranmere should still have plenty of hope, however. Forest Green had the 16th best home record in the division during the regular season and whilst Tranmere’s away form was not terrific, it does give them hope to at least make some sort of mark here. They will also probably need to get on the scoresheet given that they are without key centre-backs Luke McCullough and Mark Ellis.
Forest Green Rovers v Tranmere Rovers
League Two Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg
19:45 Sky Sports Football HD / Sky Sports Main Event HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAY 2019 LEAGUE TWO PLAY-OFF Tranmere 1-0 Forest Green
APR 2019 LEAGUE TWO Tranmere 0-1 Forest Green
OCT 2018 LEAGUE TWO Forest Green 3-1 Tranmere
MAY 2017 CONFERENCE PLAY-OFF Tranmere 1-3 Forest
APR 2017 NATIONAL LEAGUE Tranmere 0-1 Forest Green
NOV 2016 NATIONAL LEAGUE Forest Green 2-2 Tranmere
MAR 2016 NATIONAL LEAGUE Tranmere 1-1 Forest Green
OCT 2015 NATIONAL LEAGUE Forest Green 0-2 Tranmere
Each of the last nine sides to lose the first leg of a League Two play-off semi-final away from home were eliminated but Forest Green did beat Tranmere 3-1 in the regular season and they ended the season joint second in the form table whilst Tranmere lost three and drew three to end the season.
The hosts might just be good enough to turn things around here, but they may have to do it the hard way.
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