Prenton Park

Rovers travel to Prenton Park to meet Tranmere on Saturday 29th January.

For those going to Prenton Park for the first time it’s one of the bigger stadiums in League 2 with a capacity of 16,587.  Away fans are located in the Cowshed Stand, with a typical allocation of around 2,500.

Travel time by road is the best part of 3 hours (about 160 miles).  Parking at the stadium can be pre-booked (£5) or on a first come basis on the day (sat nav to CH42 9PY) or at Borough Road Sports Ground just south of the stadium for £3 (sat nav CH42 6QQ).  However, there is a pretty good amount of street parking within a short walk.

Rail travel, assuming you want to return the same day, is probably only realistic if you start your journey from Cheltenham rather than Stroud.  If so, the journeys will be just over 3 hours each way.  Rock Ferry and Birkenhead Central are the closest railway stations to Prenton Park, and are both around a 15 minute walk.

Ticket prices are expected to be;

Category Advance/Online Price Matchday Price
Adults £19 £22
Seniors [65+] £14 £17
Young Adult (23-24) £15 £18
Young Persons [18-22] £12 £15
Disabled and Personal Assistant £12 £15
Junior [U18] £6 £9

This top-of-the-table clash at Prenton Park looks to be Rover’s toughest awayday yet.  It’s the league’s best home record against the league’s best away record.  It’s the league’s most potent offence (FGR’s 51 goals scored) against the league’s most effective defence (only 15 goals in 26 games conceded  by Tranmere).  It was probably not a surprise that the fixture in Nailsworth at the end of September ended 0-0, with Tranmere left back Calum MacDonald dismissed for a 2nd yellow card in the 87th minute.

The Super White Army are second in the League 2 table, 7 points behind Rovers, having played one game more.  They are on a 10-match unbeaten run in the league that stretches back to November in which they have had 8 wins and 2 draws.  In terms of recent form (the last 8 games), Tranmere are the league’s top performers, ahead of Mansfield and FGR.

Calum MacDonald saw red when Tranmere and FGR met in September.

A recent revelation for Tranmere has been striker Charlie Jolley (number 12).  Jolley was recalled from a loan spell at Chester in December due to injuries with other players.  Since returning, he has figured in 7 games and has scored 4 times, making him Tranmere’s joint top scorer.

Tranmere’s regular starter up front for most of the season has been Elliott Nevitt (number 20).  Nevitt, who is 25, is unusual in that he only made his professional debut in August last year.  He seemed to have found favour with Tranmere boss Mickey Mellon, having played in 22 of Tranmere’s games, scoring 3 times.  But Tranmere recently bought striker Kane Hemmings (number 10) from Burton Albion in the January window and Hemmings is likely to make his 3rd start, partnering Jolley up front.

Tranmere set up as a 4-4-2 in their last outing away to Crawley – a 1-0 win where the Tranmere defence were rarely troubled by the home side.

Charlie Jolley has taken his chance after being recalled from a loan at Chester.

Elliott Nevitt has started up front for Tranmere until recently.

Mike Dean gets carried away with enthusiasm!

A fond memory of Kaiyne Woolery at the 2017 play-off final.

The Superwhite Army are familiar opponents.  Rovers fans will obviously fondly remember the 3-1 win at Wembley in 2017 that took Rovers into the football league.  Since then, Tranmere did win promotion to League the following year, beating Boreham Wood 2-1 in another Wembley play-off final.  They followed this in 2019 with a second successive promotion, defeating Newport 1-0 in another play-off final at Wembley.  This was after an aggregate 2-1 semi final win against Rovers.  In spite of being on a good run of form, albeit while in the League 1 relegation zone, the pandemic ended the 2019/20 season and Tranmere were relegated on the ‘points per game’ formula.  Their Chairman, Mark Palios, threatened legal action against what he felt was an unfair decision and said that 20 staff would be have to be made redundant as a consequence.  Last season Tranmere finished in 7th place in the league with the same number of points but one place behind FGR  They were beaten by Morecambe in the play-off semi-final.

Tranmere, with an average gate of around 6,500 are the 3rd best supported team in League 2 so far this season (behind Bradford and Swindon).  They are often seen as the 3rd team on Merseyside, living in the shadow of Liverpool and Everton on the other side of the river.  One famous Tranmere supporter is Premier League referee, Mike Dean.  Many Rovers fans will know this, after the infamous photograph of Dean celebrating Tranmere’s victory over Rovers at The New Lawn in the 2019 League 2 play-off semi-final.

Tranmere have been a football league side since the 1920’s.  Their relegation to the National League between 2015 and 2018 has been their only spell in non-league football.  They had a number of seasons in the 2nd tier in the 1990’s but for the majority of their existence Tranmere have been a 3rd tier club.

The club’s most famous son is probably John Aldridge, a former player and manager at the club.  Aldridge scored 50 goals in a 4-season Liverpool career but his Tranmere career spanned 7 seasons in which he scored 138 times in 243 appearances.

John Aldridge.

Tranmere was once a village but is now subsumed into Birkenhead, on the Wirrall, just over the Mersey from Liverpool.  The club have played at Prenton Park (below) for over 100 years.