MY first visit to Tranmere Rovers for about 35 years ended in disappointment, although it didn’t start too badly as the pies were only £2.50p! Add a couple of cans of John Smiths and that was my tea after a dash to Birkenhead after work, writes Alan Houghton.

Dougie made wholesale changes to the team bringing in eight players and playing two of the remaining three in different positions. Only Medo kept his place and position. For the first hour it showed. Apart from a couple of efforts from Eaves and Hall, there wasn’t much to shout about and with almost the lack kick of the first half, Tranmere took a deserved lead through Stockton who found himself with room to fire it home from the edge of the box.

In the second half, Bolton started to fight and things improved when Beckford came on for Vela and within minutes he had got on the end of a pass from Hall to steer the ball home for the equaliser. Moritz came on for Odelusi and we began to look the better team.

Three times we were denied a goal by the linesman’s flag or lack of it; twice for very close offsides ruling out goals from Pratley and Eaves while Eaves' lobbed shot appear to go over the line before it was cleared.

When you’re down, you don’t get much in the way of good luck. It wasn’t to be on this night and the match drifted through extra time with players looking more tired than I was after a late night on Monday.

Young Tom Young came on in extra time and he looked lively. Pratley was kindly treated for cramp by the Tranmere goalie, Fon Williams, who then proved to be their hero saving penalties from Moritz and Baptiste.

It wasn’t a good result but one ray of light was Beckford who looked hungry for the ball and looked up for it. He was a class above anyone else on the pitch.