Mellon impressed by reaction of his Tranmere players

Micky Mellon praised his Tranmere side for the way they stormed back to win 3-1 at Cheltenham and maintain their play-off push.

Micky Mellon praised his Tranmere side for the way they stormed back to win 3-1 at Cheltenham and maintain their play-off push.

Luke Varney put the home side in front, but second-half strikes from James Norwood, debutant Ishmael Miller and Oliver Banks completed the turnaround.

‘I didn’t think we were good in the first half, but we hung in there and we came in 1-0 down at half-time, had a chat and organised people differently,’ Mellon said.

‘They arranged themselves in a different way and giving credit to Cheltenham for the first half, I thought we overran them in the second half.

‘We showed a lot of good qualities I knew the players have, scored some good goals and could have had some more.

‘We had that reaction in the second half and have come away with a fantastic result away from home.

‘Hopefully that’s the first of many goals for us for Ishmael Miller.’

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff admitted his side failed to build on an impressive opening 45 minutes.

‘We were good first half, but needed to score a second goal and if we had I think we’d have gone on to win the game,’ he said.

‘It was a poor second half and we can’t give up goals like that. There was no great play, they just walked through after whacking a ball down the middle of the pitch, getting in two or three times, which was disappointing.

‘It’s a bit of a reality check really and I didn’t think we’d become a brilliant team overnight so they players have to get back to working hard and doing the right things and go again.

Tranmere have a bit of spirit and play for each other, but the goals weren’t good enough.’

Cheltenham started strongly, but Norwood set up Miller for a shot which he sent just wide in the 26th minute.

Scott Flinders saved low to his right to stop an effort from Norwood.

The goalkeeper then denied Miller, who raced through one-on-one in the 38th minute.

Cheltenham took the lead three minutes before half-time when Varney finished low past Scott Davies after a deft touch from Conor Thomas.

Tranmere levelled less than a minute after the break when Norwood fired in at the second time of asking after his initial effort was blocked, with Jake Caprice supplying the ball in from the right.

Norwood was denied a second by Flinders’ fingertip save in the 51st minute, but after he parried another attempt 10 minutes later, Miller followed up to give Rovers the lead.

Banks added the third in the 72nd minute, firing into the bottom left corner after a poor clearance by Ben Tozer.