ROVERS manager Ronnie Moore praised the efforts of Vauxhall's play-ers after they scored a famous pre-season victory over their more illustrious Wirral neighbours, writes Alec Doyle.
The Motormen proved more than a match for Tranmere at Rivacre Park last Friday, when Karl O'Donnell's second -half goal sent the full-timers home with their tails between their legs.
Moore was less than impressed with his players.
'My lads need to work harder,' he fumed. 'Some of them complained about training on the morning of this match but these Vauxhall players have been in work all day. We need to be fitter.'
Motors assistant manager Carl Spell-man took charge of the team in the absence of manager Carl Macauley, who was away on business.
Having weathered a barrage of first-half pressure in which keeper Sean Lake excelled, the hosts gained a foothold in the contest after the break and frustrated Rovers.
'I was really proud of the team,' said Spellman. 'We looked strong in the challenge and towards the end seemed fitter than Tranmere.
'They fielded some very good players in both halves but our squad looked more gelled and together and we have come away with a memorable win.'
The first chance of the match fell to Vauxhall.
In the second minute, O'Donnell beat four Tranmere players before laying the ball off to the impressive Tom Field whose shot was deflected.
Tranmere dominated the rest of the first period and Lake repeatedly kept the League One outfit at bay making saves from Calvin Zola, Kevin Ellison and Paul McLaren.
His agility was matched by his bravery on 30 minutes when Chris Shuker was clean through and flew in studs-up on Lake with the keeper taking a heavy blow to the groin.
For the Motormen, Field offered a creative outlet and helped ease the pressure on the defence with occasional counter
In the second half, however, Moore made wholesale changes and his team, with fringe players replacing the more established pros, failed to click into gear.
Tranmere fans welcomed the return of keeper John Achterberg, who was moving gingerly after spending most of last season recovering from a groin injury, and Motors soon began to test him, O'Donnell firing an early shot in the second half.
The breakthrough arrived after 54 minutes. Some hesitant defending from on-trial centre-backs Chris McCready and Christian Gault allowed O'Donnell to steal into the area and fire home a crisp low shot past Achterberg, who had earlier saved well at the striker's feet.
Vauxhall Motors are on the look-out for talented youngsters in the area, especially at Under 14, U17 and U18 level. Trials are to be held on Sunday at Rivacre Park at 11am and anyone interested should attend with their kit.