MONKEY’S OFF US – McMAHON
CARETAKER John McMahon was in awe of Tranmere’s response as loanee Junior Brown climbed off the bench to score what could be a priceless first goal for the club after a tumultuous week.
Brown, on loan from Fleetwood, struck late on to give Rovers the edge over fellow basement battlers Shrewsbury just days after the much publicised departure of manager Ronnie Moore.
Paul Parry had thrown the Shrews a lifeline when he equalised for Michael Jackson’s men after Max Power’s deft header had put Rovers in front with both teams fighting for their League One lives.
But it was Tranmere who edged themselves clear of trouble when Brown scored the winner from the edge of the box at the death, securing much-needed back-to-back wins.
“Winning was everything,” said McMahon. “We were a bit nervous but the three points were all that mattered.
“The players have responded really well to what we said we needed to do at the start of the week and I have nothing but admiration for them.
“We have got back to back wins and it is a good time of the season to get that monkey off our back but now we have to try and make it three on the spin.
“The only motivation we have is to stay in this division and keep fighting for the club. Survival is a massive responsibility.”
Loud Tranmere penalty appeals were turned down when Ryan Lowe’s fourth-minute shot appeared to hit the arm of Shrewsbury skipper Tamika Mkandawire.
But Power sent home a looping header from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro’s deep cross home to put the hosts in front 19 minutes in.
Shrewsbury’s Luke Summerfield almost scored the unlikeliest of equalisers when he struck an audacious free-kick from the halfway line, drifting wide of the post by inches with Owain fon Williams looking beaten.
Lowe attempted to bend a shot around Shrews keeper Chris Weale only for the ball to drop the wrong side of the post early in the second half.
Weale then clawed Ash Taylor’s header out from under his bar with Jake Cassidy unable to nod the rebound goalwards.
And Shrewsbury snatched a 73rd-minute equaliser when Parry also used his head after running onto the ball in the six-yard box to find the roof of the net.
But Brown popped up late in the game to secure a vital win for Rovers when he steered home from the edge of the box late in the game.
And Shrewsbury boss Jackson said:“We worked hard to get back into the game but to give away a gift like we did was criminal. It is disappointing but it is a question of mentality.
“Mentality is something you build over time but time is what we don’t have. The late goal has knocked the stuffing out of us a bit but we have got to bounce back.
“I fancied us to go on and win it after we equalised. We go to Crewe now for another battle.”
STAR MAN IAN GOODI
re FULL STRETCH: Jake Cassidy reaches for the ball for Tranmere. Inset: Max Power celebrates opening the scoring for Tranmere