Match 40
20th March 1989
Tranmere R (a)


Vital victory thanks to hit man's double.

IAN MUIR took his goals tally for the season to 23 as Tranmere Rovers beat Exeter City 2-0 in a rearranged Division Four clash at Prenton Park last night. It was Rovers' 11th home win and moved them up to fourth in the table. Conditions were difficult after recent rain and snow. Referee Paul Danson gave the go-ahead only after a Late inspection, but his decision was fully justified. Both sides produced some excellent play and the verdict could have gone either way. But on the night it was Rovers who took their chances with Muir eventually putting the issue beyond doubt with his second strike in the 88th minute. Exeter belied their poor away record. They came close to going ahead during a bright opening spell and tested home 'keeper Eric Nixon to the full in the second-half. Steve Vickers was magnificent in central defence for Tranmere and Jim Harvey produced some neat work in midfield. John Morrissey,on his return from suspension, by no means found it easy going against Richard Dryden. He was booked in the 70th minute and replaced eight minutes later by Chris Malkin after appearing to take a knock. Malkin's pace had  Exeter at full stretch and he created the second killer goal. Brian McDermott buzzed in midfield for City and there were some neat touches from Ian Benjamin. But on the night luck ran against the West Country side and they got no reward at all, just a booking for Shaun Taylor for a foul on Malkin in 81 minutes as the winger raced clear. Tranmere first goal in 26 minutes, came from a Jim Harvey corner. The ball appeared to take a deflec tion off a defender before Muir headed home. Exeter should have been level in 55 minutes when Richard Young got clear, but Nixon blocked the shot. Dave Walter had to make a brave save at Muir's feet on the hour and a Jim Steel header brought another fine stop, with Rovers claiming in vain that the ball had crossed the line. Malkin got clear in 88 minutes and his neat chip presented an easy opportunity for Muir to make it 2-0.

Nixon, Higgins, McCarrick, Martindale (Bishop) Hughes, Vickers, Morissey (Malkin 78), Harvey, Steel, Muir, Mungall

Referee F. Danson

Attendance: 3885

Steve Vickers, solid as a rock in defence.





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