Following Saturdays home defeat, the Lions travelled to table toppers Tranmere in this evenings televised fixture and although the defending was much improved the lack of a cutting edge up front was again evident and James Norwood’s strike just before the break settled what turned out to be a dour contest.
The Lions had goalkeeper Dan Atkinson to thank for a superb one handed save to deny Connor Jennings after just ten minutes.
When Luke Porritt was brought down shortly after Adam Smith blazed the resulting free kick way over the bar.
Jennings then shot over from a good position as Rovers hit Guiseley on the counter and Will Hatfield had a shot charged down prior to the crucial breakthrough which came four minutes before halftime as the ball was lofted up to Norwood who lobbed Atkinson for what proved to be the only goal of the game.
Atkinson was once again in action as he parried Andy Cook’s powerful shot and then managed to hook the loose ball away as Norwood closed in.
While the visitors defending proved to be a vast improvement on Saturday’s debacle it still left Adam Boyes ploughing a lone furrow up front, feeding of the meagre scraps that came his way from an embattled midfield.
The second half saw the home side exert sustained pressure but a lack of quality meant that the visitors were hardly ever troubled.
For their part, two corners in quick succession for the Lions came to nough and the nearest they came to squaring matters was Javan Vidal’s shot but it was straight at Scott Davies.
The defeat leaves the Lions propping up the table and still searching for their points of the season although the next two games at home to fellow strugglers Braintree and Woking may provide the kickstart that the club so badly needs.
Hatfield (Preston 78)
Smith (Johnson 73)
Boyes (Rankine 78)
Adam Lockwood post match
Luke Porritts thoughts