Dec 21 2013 by David Triggs, Sat WIR
RONNIE MOORE was scathing in his assessment of Tranmere Rovers’ defending after Gillingham pulled off a 2-1 win at Prenton Park last night.
The Rovers boss blamed centre-backs Ash Taylor and Jim McNulty for not providing enough protection for Owain Fon Williams in the home goal.
Gillingham’s well-travelled striker Adebayo Akinfenwa plundered a goal in each half, either side of a red card for McNulty, who was dismissed in the second half for fouling Cody McDonald when he was clean through.
Moore said: “It was a tough night, there’s no doubt about it. If you put their two centre-backs in our team, I think we win it. It’s as simple as that.
“We can’t defend. We ask the centre-backs to be brave and do the right things. But we get caught flat. How many one-on-ones have they had?
“They went straight through the middle. Every time they went forward they looked like they were going to score. That’s the disappointing thing for me.
“It’s been that way for a few weeks. We’ve got two guys who think they are footballers, but they’re centre-halves.
“Their living is to go and head it, go and kick it and do the right things in the right area.”
Moore, whose side could have climbed to 15th had they won, added: “You look at the second goal... Akinfenwa is a big lad, but you’ve got to have a go. He’s muscled Evan (Horwood) out on the back post. You’ve got to try and win that. They’ve had too many one-on-ones and our keeper has had to make too many saves.”
McNulty faces a one-match ban for his sending off, giving Moore a selection headache for the Boxing Day trip to Shrewsbury Town.
Left-back Liam Ridehalgh is the man most likely to partner Taylor, the only fit and available specialist centre-back on Tranmere’s books.