MANAGER Ronnie Moore reckons Jake Cassidy is off and running in the goal-scoring stakes for Tranmere this season, after breaking his duck with a hat-trick against Colchester United.
Cassidy returned to Prenton Park this summer after notching five goals in 10 appearances on loan to Rovers from Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of the last campaign.
The 19-year-old from North Wales was a little slow in getting off the mark but his sixth appearance of the season turned into a great exhibition of clinical finishing in the 4-0 rout of Colchester.
Moore said: “Jake needed those goals and he’s worked hard enough for them. It was a matter of getting him into the right areas.
“He was doing a lot of his work outside the penalty area.
“We’ve encouraged him to stay in the box a little bit more because when he’s in the right areas he will score goals. There’s more to come from Jake.”
Moore revealed that Cassidy had done work on putting himself in front of his marker for crosses to the near post – and that’s just how he notched his first and third goals against the U’s.
“Jake had been a little bit off his best for a couple of weeks,” Moore said.
“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.”
The treble was the first of Cassidy’s career in the professional game and he paid tribute to the teammates who created the opportunities.
“It is brilliant to play in this side at the moment,” said Cassidy, whose loan 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’s hat-trick was the second by a Rovers player this season, following Robinson’s treble at Carlisle United last month.
The result lifted Tranmere to the top of the League One table with 10 points from four games, ahead of Yeovil Town on goal difference.
After playing Port Vale in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last night, Rovers return to League One action with a visit to Crewe Alexandra this weekend.
Moore was also glad to post a second clean sheet in the league against Colchester after being forced to make a change in defence.
Roman Golobart, a 20-year-old centre-back signed on loan from Wigan Athletic last 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.”
He added: “You have to be happy with our position at the top of the table but we’re not getting carried away.
“We are four games into the season, that’s all, and things can change.”