Can Tranmere Doidge a bullet at the New Lawn?
Forest Green return to Gloucestershire knowing they have to win in order to reach the play-off final. The Green Devils put in a gallant effort at Prenton Park and left themselves a real chance for success.
Tranmere take a slender advantage to the New Lawn after a wonder strike by Ollie Banks secured them a 1-0 victory in the first-leg of their play-off semi-final on Friday night.
Despite the win, the Super White Army were left ruing what could have been after they played 75 minutes of the match against 10 men following Gavin Gunning’s rash kick-out at Jay Harris.
There is no denying that Mark Cooper’s side had to ride their luck at times and James Norwood could easily have filled his boots on another night. The game was almost entirely played in Forest Green’s half with the defensive trio of Farrend Rawson, Nathan McGinley and Lee Collins putting in heroic efforts to keep Micky Mellon’s men at bay.
At times, Tranmer appeared to lack the invention required to make the crucial breakthrough, though it is always tough playing against ten men who are determined to sit deep and absorb pressure.
The result sets up an intriguing second-leg which will see Forest Green having to get the victory in order to progress to the final. This could lead to them leaving gaps and make for an entertaining, end-to-end game.
One thing that looked tasty before the red card changed the game on Friday night was the battle between Jake Caprice and Joseph Mills. The pair are amongst the best full-backs in the division and were looking to break forward whenever the opportunity arose.
In fact, one of the big areas of improvement this season for Forest Green has been at full-back and Mark Cooper must take credit for the recruitment over the summer that saw both Mill and Liam Shephard arrive at the club.
Jake Caprice has been superb and vastly underrated in the Tranmere team, one of many players to be lost in Norwood’s shadow, and he is an excellent outlet on the right for Micky Mellon’s side.
Whoever utilises their width and, in particular, their full-backs best in this one will likely be successful.
Can Tranmere Doidge a bullet?
Christian Doidge cut a frustrated figure at Prenton Park having to work tirelessly to try and earn Forest Green some respite from the Tranmere pressure but he could be more dangerous back at the New Lawn.
Doidge has been directly involved in eight of Forest Green’s last 15 goals in League Two, scoring six and assisting two. He has also scored in both of his last two matches at the New Lawn.
The frontman is an excellent player and his personal misfortune at Bolton could be Forest Green’s gain.
Forest Green v Tranmere Betting tip
Given the need for Forest Green to score and the fact that Tranmere have a hugely talented group of forwards, this one could see a few goals. That’s why backing this one to end with over 2.5 goals at odds of 11/8 could be a nice little earner.