CHANTS of ‘Ronnie’s unbeatable’ rang around Spotland last night as Tranmere Rovers’ travelling supporters saluted a landmark victory on the road to League One safety.
A fine 2-0 success over Rochdale – Tranmere’s first away win in almost five months – was fully deserved and it saw Ronnie Moore extend his unbeaten run since taking over as manager to five games.
Rovers’ fans had waited a long time to see their side end their miserable sequence of away-day results, with the 2-0 success at Hartlepool on October 25 a distant memory.
But since Moore replaced Les Parry at the start of the month, Tranmere’s fortunes have been transformed and their followers are now beginning to look up the League One table rather than down it as their team climbs away from the relegation zone.
Victory at Spotland last night – Rovers’ first there since 1986 when Moore scored the winner – was secured thanks to a goal in each half from loan stars James Wallace and Jake Cassidy.
A dominant first-half display was followed by a less assured performance in the second period, but Cassidy’s late strike settled the nerves and the away side coasted home to the final whistle.
Everton loanee Wallace was at the heart of the early action, twice going close with long-range efforts.
One curled over the crossbar, while the other deflected off a defender and whistled narrowly past home keeper David Lucas’ post.
Tranmere were on top in every department and the home fans made their feelings clear, with groans of derision ringing around the ground every time a Dale player made a mistake.
Ryan Brunt found himself on the end of Rovers’ best early chance, but he side-footed wide after being played into the clear by John Welsh’s clever reverse pass.
The visitors deservedly opened their account in the 28th minute with a classy strike from Wallace.
The 21-year-old snapped into a tackle with Dale’s Jason Kennedy and advanced on goal before curling a right-footed effort beyond the despairing dive of Lucas from the edge of the box.
Rovers cranked up the pressure but were unable to add to their tally before the half-time break.
Striker Enoch Showunmi, who continued his fine recent form, went closest to making it 2-0 before the interval, heading over a left-wing cross from David Buchanan. At the other end of the pitch, Owain Fon Williams was enjoying an easy ride on his return to Spotland.