Old man Koumas rolls back the years
TRANMERE manager Micky Adams gave thanks to ‘old man’ Jason Koumas after the former Wales international stepped off the bench to earn a replay against Oxford United.
It was the 35-year-old’s first of the season and it was a strike reminiscent of his pomp when the only goals he seemed to deal in were spectacular ones.
But Oxford must be wondering how they didn’t win this tie at the first time of asking after creating so many chances in the second half to add to Tyrone Barnett’s two goals
Adams said: “They looked to be in the ascendancy and when they got their second goal it looked to be game over but what resilience we showed again.
“We’ve got that never-saydie spirit within the camp and the old man has come on for us and scored.
“Jason is a fantastic lad and obviously at his age he would want to play more games but I think he understands that there’s a new breed that are in there.
“I just had a little fancy for him, particularly as the game opened up – it was right for a Jason Koumas to make a stamp on the game and so it proved.”
Tranmere broke off 33 minutes of utter tedium by going ahead when Cole Stockton back-heeled Shamir Fenelon’s cross into the bottom corner.
Fenelon should have doubled the visitors’ lead after he outmuscled Oxford’s Johnny Mullins to go through on goal, only to hopelessly blaze his shot high and wide.
Early in the second half, the U’s’ Danny Hylton got away down the right but Callum O’Dowda couldn’t direct his cross on target.
But Oxford did draw level just before the hour mark thanks to Barnett nodding in Danny Rose’s corner from close range.
The tie was turned on its head five minutes later when Joe Riley fed Barnett, who turned Marcus Holness before shooting across Owain Fon Williams and into the net.
Koumas, however, squared things up again just three minutes after being brought on when he curled a superb shot past Ryan Clarke from 25 yards. Oxford boss Michael Appleton said: “Obviously I was a little bit disappointed with the first half – it was a little bit flat in the stadium and it was difficult for the players to deal with.
“I don’t know how many chances we had in the second half – there must have been at least ten – and not halfchances, there must have been ten quality, good chances so that was very pleasing.
“It’s disappointing to draw a game where the opposition have had three shots and scored two and we’ve had at least eight or nine shots on target but we’re still in the hat.”
STAR MAN TYRON