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15:10 16th May 2012
By  James Fairbank

Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Scunthorpe United

For the second consecutive week, Garry Thompson netted a second half equaliser to give United the share of the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 draw.

A first half header from Mark McChrystal looked to have given the home side three points before Thompson smashed home on the hour mark to earn Scunthorpe a 22nd draw of the season.

The Iron made two changes from last Saturday's side with Niall Canavan coming in for the injured Paul Reid at the heart of the defence and Thompson replacing Sam Togwell.

Lining up in goal for the Iron was Sam Slocombe behind a defence of Eddie Nolan, David Mirfin, Canavan and Cliff Byrne.

The midfield consisted of Jimmy Ryan, Robbie Gibbons, Mark Duffy and Andy Barcham, leaving Bobby Grant and Thompson up front for the Iron.

On the bench for the Iron was Sam Togwell, Matty Godden, Connor Jennings, Josh Lillis and for the second game running, 17 year old Luke Hornsey.

Ian Goodison had the first effort of the game but could only stab wide from a Tranmere corner.

Thompson had Scunthorpe's first shot on goal in the fourth minute. After a neat one two with Duffy at the edge of the box, Thompson could only fire harmlessly over for the Iron.

Grant had a great chance to put the Iron ahead in the 12th minute but after a great ball from Duffy was thread through to the striker, the 22 year old lost his footing at the crucial moment and saw the attack smothered by the host's keeper.

And Fon Williams had to be at his best minutes later when Canavan met Duffy's free kick, only to see his headed effort palmed onto the post and out for a corner.

The Iron were dominating play with Mark Duffy in particular pulling the strings in an unfamiliar central position.

Against the run of play though, Tranmere took the lead in the 26th minute from a corner. Meeting the floated corner was Mark McChrystal, guiding his effort at the front post across the goal into the bottom corner.

Grant nearly levelled proceedings on the half hour mark, but his curling left foot effort just missed the goalkeeper's top right hand corner.

Only a fantastic double save from the opposition goalkeeper stopped the Iron from levelling in the 34th minute. First the keeper did fantastically to palm away a Ryan long range volley, only to land at the feet of Grant five yards out.

However, the goalkeeper was once again in fantastic form to deny Grant a certain equaliser from close range.

As a result of the attack the hosts where forced into making a substitution with the goalscorer McChrystal forced to come off after colliding with Grant. He was replaced by Robbie Weir.

The Iron were forced into a similar change on half time when Mirfin was replaced by Sam Togwell after an uncomfortable fall onto his ankle just before the end of the first half.

Barcham had the Iron's first shot of the second half but his long range effort from sailed yards over the keeper's right hand corner.

It was Barcham again minutes later who threatened to equalise for the Iron but running in at the back post, was unable to connect to a Duffy cross a couple of yards out.

Martin Devaney should have doubled Tranmere's lead in the 59th minute. A good counter attacking move from Rover's gave the winger a one on one opportunity against Slocombe. However after progressing to a few yards inside the box could only smash his effort wide at the near post into the side netting.

And Tranmere would be made to pay for the miss when with the next Scunthorpe attack, Thompson made the score 1-1.

A Duffy corner was flicked on at the near post by Byrne straight into the path of Thompson at the back stick.

After controlling the ball the 31 year old then cooly smashed the ball into the roof of the net to give the Iron a deserved equaliser.

Tranmere made their second change of the afternoon when former Iron trialist Tiryaki was replaced by Akins up front.

Only the width of the crossbar stopped the Iron from taking the lead with 20 minutes to go. After patient build up play from the Iron the ball was eventually fed to Nolan on the left by Gibbons. After receiving the ball the left back cut onto his right, curling his effort away from the keeper only to be denied by the crossbar.

Connor Jennings was the second player to come off the Iron bench when he was brought on in place of Grant up front.

Andy Robinson came close to giving Tranmere the lead approaching the final ten minutes. Robinson on the turn managing to beat Togwell on the right before firing towards Slocombe's bottom left. The keeper though was equal to the effort and palmed it comfortably away.

The Iron made their final change with three minutes to go when Matty Godden came on for Andy Barcham.

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.