FAN POWER IN MAX’S PLANS
TRANMERE midfielder Max Power has no interest in playing League Two football next season and has pleaded with the fans to aid their fight against what he believes would be a disastrous relegation.
Second half goals from substitute Bradley Dack and Cody McDonald hauled Gillingham seven points clear of safety on and left Rovers precariously hovering two places above the bottom four.
And life-long Rovers fan Power issued a rallying call ahead of his side’s final three fixtures – starting with tomorrow’s tricky visit of FA Cup semi-finalists Sheffield United.
“Our fans are always great, and we need them now more than ever,” said the 20-year-old.
“The atmosphere at the last home game against Shrewsbury was really good, and hopefully they can help us on Monday.
“I don’t want to be playing in League Two next season. There could be massive repercussions of us going down, and I’m doing all I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“When that Kop gets going, it is like a 12th man. We need their support on Monday, and a good result puts us in good stead to stay up. We’ve got to go for it.”
The Gills dominated the first half, but were frustrated by Rovers goalkeeper Owain fon Williams, who made good stops to deny McDonald and Adebayo Akinfenwa. He twice thwarted McDonald from close range after the break in the second half, a 45 minutes which the visitors dominated.
Gills goalkeeper Stuart Nelson did well to save Jason Koumas’ well-struck 20-yard volley, and then John-Louis Akpa Akpro from his curling effort.
Striker Jake Cassidy almost opened the scoring with a brilliant solo attempt having capitalised on a mistake from Dack, after which the game turned back into the hosts’ favour. Just 12 minutes after coming on, Dack brilliantly volleyed home from Joe Martin’s deep cross for his fifth of the season, in the same week he signed a three-year contract extension with the Kent club.
McDonald sealed the win two minutes into stoppage time, after fon Williams went forward for a Rovers corner kick.
That was cleared by the Gills’ defence, and the club’s top scorer ran 40 yards before firing into an empty net for his 15th of the campaign. Manager Peter Taylor admitted being relegated now would be a freak occurrence, but stressed his side still aren’t mathematically safe.
“I think we’d be unlucky to go down with 51 points, but it’s not impossible,” he said.“So we’ve got to be careful, we’ve got to prepare right for Walsall on Monday, which is another hard one for us.
“We needed a win and we needed a much better performance than last Saturday at Leyton Orient, so I’m very happy with the day. We started very well, we just couldn’t score. But we know what Bradley is capable of, and that’s scoring great goals. That’s what he’s about, and we’re very happy with his work.”
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HAPPY CHAPS: Cody McDonald, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring Gillingham’s second. Inset: Owain fon Williams went up for a late corner