Warrington Rylands narrowly defeated by a strong Tranmere Rovers side in the Liverpool Senior Cup Quarter Final on Tuesday evening by two goals to one.
The League Two side had several first-team regulars in their line-up at The Hive Arena, with all bar two of their starting XI having featured in the EFL this season.
Tranmere got off to a strong start as Reece McAlear forced a save out of Luke Pilling. The visitors found themselves 1-0 up after Paul Lewis was fouled in the box, Kristian Dennis stepping up to convert the penalty. James Norris doubled their lead just three minutes later and the blues went in 2-0 down at half-time.
The blues’ task got even harder just 5-minutes into the second period when Jordan Mustoe, making his second debut for the club having returned last week, was sent off.
Recent signing Dan Cockerline celebrated his first goal for the club in the 57th minute with a looped header over the Tranmere goalkeeper, halving the deficit with just over 20-minutes to play.
Rylands battled on and dug in with 10-men however the visitors held on to see out their victory and advance to the semi-finals.
Manager Michael Clegg was delighted with his side’s response to a difficult opening to the game and believes progress has been made since Saturday’s shock Northern Premier League defeat to bottom side Bradford park Avenue.
“Fair play to Tranmere – they’ve come with a really strong side tonight and had us two down after 15 minutes,” he said “They came at us like a house on fire – sometimes with teams like them in the cup, they would bring the kids but they were fully at it tonight.”
“We gave away two cheap goals but we recovered so well after the first 20 minutes. It was a chance for us to give some lads minutes – we threw a team together and it took us 20 minutes to get going, which was probably a little too late.”
“I’m really proud though as the weekend was disappointing, but everyone has seen tonight that we’re together as a group and that we’ll fight for every ball.“
WARRINGTON RYLANDS FC: Pilling, Swaby-Neavin, Brockbank, Butler, Mustoe, Neild (C), Kyfein, Hough, Cockerline (Touray, 84), Pedro (Taylor, 75), Adams (Baillie, 66).
SUBS (not used): Furman, Akiotu
TRANMERE ROVERS: Robson, Starbuck, Yarney, Bentley, Pike (Davies, 46), Taylor, McAlear (Mikulski, 65), Merrie (C), Norris, Lewis (Henderson, 83), Dennis.
SUBS (not used): Brown, Hockenhull, Kane, Martin
We are back at The Hive Arena this coming weekend as we welcome Matlock Town for our third home game in 7-days.