JAKE CASSIDY celebrated the first hat-trick of his young career by paying tribute to the goal creators in Tranmere’s 4-0 win over Colchester United at Prenton Park.
“It is brilliant to play in this side at the moment,” said Cassidy, a 19-year-old striker on a loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers that runs until January.
“It was great to get three goals and Andy Robinson and James Wallace put two of them on a plate. They were a striker’s dream, simple balls, easy to finish.”
Cassidy, without a goal in his first five league and cup appearances of the season, made good his pre-match promise that “I just need one goal to get me going.”
His hat-trick was the second by a Rovers player this season, following Robinson’s treble at Carlisle last month. The result lifted Tranmere back to the top of the League One table with 10 points from four games, ahead of Yeovil Town on goal difference.
Manager Ronnie Moore said: “We did not start the game too brightly and I was a little bit concerned early on. The first goal (on 40 minutes) settled us down and there was no disputing we were the better side after that.
“Some of the football we played was brilliant at times and the finishing was excellent. Jake had been a little bit off his best for a couple of weeks. We did some work on the training ground on getting him across defenders at the near post and he did that to good effect. There were some quality balls played in and some great finishing by the lad.”
Tranmere, League One’s leading scorers with 11, boast three players in the division’s top 10 individual marksmen, Cassidy, Robinson and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, all with three apiece. Moore said: “I thought Jean-Louis was fantastic with his work-rate and deserved a goal himself. He nearly got one when he cut inside and hit the post.”
Colchester, who started the season with three draws, were blasted out of the contest by three goals in 18 minutes either side of the half-time interval. Full-back Zoumana Bakayogo weighed in with the third.
Moore said: “Zoum has the energy to get into scoring positions and to get back. His was a great finish.”
The manager was also glad to post a clean sheet after being forced to make a change at the back. Roman Golobart, a 20-year-old centre-back signed on loan from Wigan Athletic on Friday, played at the heart of the back four alongside another loan player, Ben Gibson. Ash Taylor missed the game with a thigh injury. Moore said: “Roman looked a little rusty early on but the cobwebs came off as the game went on and we handled Colchester’s front two pretty well. You have to be happy with our position but we’re not getting carried away. We are four games into the season, that’s all. Things can change.”
Tranmere return to action in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Port Vale tomorrow night (kick-off 7.15pm) when Moore plans to make a number of team changes.
Moore reported that the thigh injury Taylor sustained in the Capital One Cup tie at Aston Villa last Tuesday is not as serious as first feared. Taylor probably won’t be ready for the Port Vale game but could be in contention when Tranmere visit Crewe Alexandra on Saturday in League One.