Vauxhall 0, Tranmere Rovers 4: THE Motormen played their first pre-season friendly in front of a bumper crowd at Rivacre Park on Saturday but were undone by the quality of their higher-profile opponents' set pieces, writes Christopher Beesley.
Manager Owen Brown said: 'Unfortunately, the side we had out there in the second half was severely lacking in height so we were very vulnerable from free kicks and corner kicks. We're still taking a look at several players and I expect there will be several changes before now and the start of the season.
'We still have the likes of Leighton McGivern and Steve Porter to come back and I'll also be bringing in a few more new faces. It's early days yet and I want to be judged on August 14.'
Both of Vauxhall's two new defensive recruits, James Glendenning from Droylsden and Tony Allen from Black-pool, were in the starting line-up as was former Tranmere trialist Carl O'Donnell, operating up front alongside Peter Cumiskey.
Although the majority of the crowd three times larger than Vauxhall's usual figures were there to support the visitors, the hosts seemed to revel in the big-game atmosphere early on.
Cumiskey went close to opening the scoring just minutes in but floated a shot just wide of Russell Howarth's left-hand post.
Clinical finishing ultimately proved to be the difference between the sides and Tranmere went ahead on 15 minutes when defender Tyrone Loran headed in a free kick from the left-hand touchline, delivered by the diminutive Dave Beresford.
The visitors doubled their lead on 27 minutes when another header from Loran was fumbled by Tim Dittmer and Chris Dagnell just about poked the ball over the line, with the linesman flagging to signal the goal.
Just before the interval, Cumiskey saw his rasping shot fly over the bar while substitute goalkeeper John Achterberg was brought quickly into action after the break, athletically palming away a shot from Carl Nesbitt.
Ace marksman Eugene Dadi added a third on 70 minutes, having been picked out by Paul Hall's pinpoint right-wing cross while giant striker Calvin Zola completed the scoring 12 minutes from full-time, heading in another cross from the right, this time off a Ryan Taylor corner kick.
Vauxhall: Dittmer, Spellman, McDermott, Glendenning, Tomlinson, Allen, Nesbitt, Lawton, O'Donnell, Griffiths, Cumiskey. Attendance: 860.