Tranmere Rovers hit three past play-off chasers Gillingham to claim back-to-back home, writes Ethan Hoijord at Prenton Park.
In-form loanee Rob Apter struck on the stroke of half time, before hitting the third on the hour mark as Connor Jennings, who extended his contract in midweek, netted the second.
There were no changes made to the starting XI from the side that was selected for last weekend’s trip to Sutton United. However, in comparison to that performance, Adkins’ side didn’t look tired at any point of this game.
— Tranmere Rovers FC (@TranmereRovers) November 25, 2023
Gillingham enjoyed more of the possession early on but created few scoring opportunities.
Kieron Morris, playing on the left wing, dropped back to make life easier for full-back Connor Wood when required.
The Whites, defending in numbers, frustrated the visitors as Gills forward Connor Mahoney struck the ball straight into the Kop end before centre-half Shadrach Ogie did the same from outside the box.
Late into the half, Adkins’ team were finding some space at the top end of the pitch. Apter skilfully drove the ball into a shooting position on the right but his shot rose high above the bar.
The young forward continued to go for goal and struck powerfully into the roof of the net from the left hand side of the box before the whistle for half time blew. It was exactly what Rovers needed after being asked to defend resiliently.
Rovers went for more after the break.
Full-back Lee O’Connor won a free kick after a darting run towards goal but the set piece, taken by Brad Walker, went out for a throw.
Similar to Apter’s willingness to keep pushing forward, midfielder Brad Walker sent a cross in for Connor Jennings to double Tranmere’s lead in front of the Kop end.
Apter soon added the third on the hour mark as he wheeled past the visitors backline before slotting the ball into the bottom corner, similar to his goal two weeks ago against Forest Green Rovers here.
Credit to Stephen Clemence’s side who continued to push the Rovers backline ensuring that centre half Jordan Turnbull experienced a bout of cramp.
Their efforts would be rewarded after seven minutes of added time were shown on the fourth officials board, as Connor Mahoney hit a powerfully placed free kick into the back of Luke McGee’s net.
However, that would prove just a consolation as Rovers did enough to ensure that no more would be conceded.
Tranmere are back in action on Tuesday night as they travel to Mansfield Town, looking to claim their first three points on the road since February. Gillingham’s defeat sees them sink one place, to ninth.