Morecambe boss praises their performance after victory at Tranmere Rovers
Derek Adams was delighted after seeing his Morecambe side take victory in the first leg of their League Two play-off semi-final.
Goals from Nat Knight-Percival and Liam McAlinden gave the Shrimps a 2-1 win at Tranmere Rovers, for whom Peter Clarke had cancelled out the former’s first goal for the club.
It had been the proverbial game of two halves at Prenton Park, where the home side bossed the opening 45 minutes with Corey Blackett-Taylor a constant nuisance.
However, two set-pieces paid off for Adams’ players with Knight-Percival and McAlinden both scoring after corners hadn’t been cleared.
“They came out of the blocks flying, which they were always going to do with a change of manager and 4,000 fans in the ground.
“It wasn’t going to be easy coming up against that but I think the players showed a lot of resilience.
“I’ve got to say that Ryan Cooney was fantastic at times tonight with the way he dealt with Blackett-Taylor.
“He was quick, he was strong and he got his tackles in throughout the 90 minutes.”
After a tough opening period, Morecambe dug in after the break and limited the home side’s attacking threat.
Both sides also felt aggrieved with the officials, Tranmere’s players claiming Toumani Diagouraga handled the ball in the build-up to McAlinden’s goal, as well as being unhappy at some apparent timewasting on Morecambe’s part.
For their part, the Shrimps saw a late penalty appeal ruled out and Adams also felt his lone striker wasn’t afforded sufficient protection from referee Darren Drysdale.
He said: “We had a really good team performance, even the ones who came off the bench, and Cole Stockton worked very hard.
“He got his first foul of the game after 95 minutes and I thought we could have had a penalty late on.
“It was a difficult night, Tranmere try and bully the officials into giving them decisions.
“Cole didn’t get many decisions tonight but he did really well for us, he led the line and helped us come here and win, which we can now take into Sunday’s second leg.”
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