GT's Thoughts After The 1-1 Draw With Tranmere
By Matt Johnson
Manager Graham Turner cut a disappointed figure after his Town side were denied their second victory in League One by a last-minute equaliser from Tranmere’s Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro.
Marvin Morgan’s bullet header had put the Shrews ahead on the stroke of half-time at the Greenhous Meadow and the result never really looked in danger until it was too late when Akpa Akpro played the villain with his late blow.
“It is bitterly disappointing, particularly to concede one as late as that,” said Turner.
“I think that we should’ve killed them off. We had one or two great breaks, particularly on the inside left channel and should’ve picked a better ball out and their keeper made a great save at the end.
“I think we were aware of Tranmere’s ability. I saw them at Chesterfield and it was very impressive and obviously they’ve gone and won their two opening games, so we knew they would be lively and they’ve got a lot of threats and so it proved.
They’re a side that stuck to it and caused us a number of problems but In some ways we can count ourselves a little bit unlucky because of the way we played, but we should’ve defended better late on.”
Such was Town’s second half dominance; it looked as if only one team were going to grab the game’s second goal. But it wasn’t to be and Turner chose to praise rather than bemoan the creation of chances from set plays, including the one that led to Morgan’s goal.
“We always felt that we had got people to deliver the set play balls in there and if we got the right movement then we would create chances and it was a great delivery from Mark Wright and a good finish [from Marvin] and I think the one that the keeper pushed onto the bar late on was unlucky.
“You never take anything for granted, but certainly we had enough of the ball in good positions to pick out better passes or finish them off better, so in that respect it is disappointing and when you look at it with four points on the board, it should have been more.”
Having now played three matches in League One, Turner was quick to make his assessment in the gulf in class and quality between Town’s new division and the one from whence they came – but nothing that his side should fear.
“I think the standard of football is there for all to see – it’s so much better. The quality of the game, the quality of the individual players and the way the ball is worked is more controlled.
“I think we’ve done ok in the first three matches. We were obviously disappointed looking back at the Sheffield United game, but we dealt with the league favourites quite well. Preston are a big club, Tranmere were top of the league when they came here so the opening three games have been cause for optimism for the rest of the season.”