The Non-League Football Paper - - VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE - By Richard Gar­nett

TRAN­MERE Rovers fired a warn­ing shot to their pro­mo­tion ri­vals af­ter fi­nally hit­ting the goal trail in an im­pres­sive vic­tory over FC Hal­i­fax at Pren­ton Park.

James Nor­wood struck a double in the first 15 min­utes be­fore go­ing off with a head in­jury ten min­utes later.

Debu­tant Lar­nell Cole and Dy­lan Mot­t­ley-Henry then sealed the win af­ter the break.

The Shay­men twice re­sponded with goals from Matt Brown and Daniel Batty but they were no match for ram­pant Rovers who fi­nally look to have hit their stride, sat­is­fy­ing Micky Mel­lon.

He said: “The per­for­mance from start to fin­ish was great. There’s things that we know that we need to get bet­ter at but to score four goals and the qual­ity of them and the per­for­mance was very pleas­ing.

“We’re pleased to score at an early stage. It al­lowed us to keep plough­ing for­ward, get the game plan go­ing and the boys can take a whole load of credit for it.

“I thought Gerry McDon­agh was out­stand­ing. He led the line fan­tas­ti­cally well with his ath­leti­cism and his height.

“I’m re­ally pleased for Dy­lan Mot­t­ley-Henry. He de­serves a goal. He’s worked his socks off since he’s been here. He puts a smile on your face.”

Tran­mere made a pos­i­tive start and were quickly re­warded when a telling cross from Jay Har­ris was turned in by Nor­wood af­ter only six min­utes.

On the quar­ter of an hour mark, a brisk counter at­tack from Rovers pro­vided a sec­ond goal when Jeff Hughes’ bounc­ing halfvol­ley was chested into the net by Nor­wood on the line. The for­mer For­est Green striker’s af­ter­noon was done 10 min­utes later – un­able to con­tinue with a head wound, re­placed by Cole. The vis­i­tors pulled one back in the sec­ond half through a Brown header but im­me­di­ately from the restart Rovers reaf­firmed their two-goal ad­van­tage with a de­flected de­but strike from Cole. A sui­cide pass from Con­nor Oliver al­lowed Mot­t­ley-Henry to sprint half the pitch for Tran­mere’s fourth be­fore Batty pro­vided a con­so­la­tion for well­beaten Hal­i­fax, who could not live with Tran­mere’s at­tack­ing arse­nal. Dis­grun­tled Town man­ager Billy Heath said: “It was a re­ally poor start and that’s the last thing you want when you come here. In the sec­ond half we got our­selves back in the game, but 30 sec­onds later the game’s fin­ished. “What we need to do now col­lec­tively is go back to where we were. We’ve got to start stop­ping teams from play­ing like we’re do­ing. If that means play­ing the most hard-work­ing play­ers and be­ing destruc­tive and ugly to start with, then that’s what we’ll do. “Teams aren’t hav­ing to do a lot. Ev­ery sin­gle goal to­day was an in­di­vid­ual mis­take We’re too open and free at the minute.”

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