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League One

Tranmere Rovers 'heart' warms John McMahon

5 April 2014

Tranmere Rovers caretaker-boss John McMahon praised the "massive heart" of his players after they pulled off a precious 2-1 victory at Colchester United.

Ryan Lowe pounced to grab Rovers' crucial winner just after the hour-mark after Freddie Sears had cancelled out Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro's opener.

It was a huge result for Tranmere, who are hovering just above the relegation zone, and gave their survival hopes a major boost.

"We've got massive heart, togetherness and desire," said McMahon.

"You can see that throughout the group and also our supporters.

"We're all up for this fight.

"We've got a good atmosphere and team spirit and no-one on the pitch throws the towel in.

"I said to the lads afterwards that we have six more mountains to climb, but these lads will keep digging in and keeping fighting."

McMahon, who has taken the reins since the club decided to suspend Ronnie Moore, felt his side were good value for their victory.

"I think we deserved it overall," he added.

"They had some good chances, but you have to ride your luck sometimes.

"We haven't been getting that luck and the run of the ball but here we did.

"We haven't won many games and they're a big strong side.

"We do get nervy and did hang on, but we had opportunities to go on and secure the game."

Tranmere took the lead nine minutes before the break with a goal against the run of play.

Colchester were caught in possession and Max Power fed dangerous wide man Akpa Akpro, who burst forward before slotting past goalkeeper Sam Walker.

It was hard luck on the U's, who had dominating proceedings prior to the setback.

Owain Fon Williams made great saves from Jabo Ibehre and Alex Gilbey, but there was nothing he could do to keep out Sears' leveller.

Dominic Vose fed Ryan Dickson, who squared from the left, and Sears nipped in to turn the ball home from close range.

The goal should have lifted Colchester, coming seconds before the break, but it was Tranmere who scored the only goal of the second half.

Akpa Akpro beat right-back Gavin Massey, before delivering a low cross that was turned in by Lowe.

"We lost a match we should have won," said dejected U's boss Joe Dunne.

"The players were really up for it and people could see that.

"We should have been three-up, but continue to cause problems for ourselves.

"Our problems are self-inflicted.

"We're running out of games and in very serious trouble.

"We're down and being stamped on, but we haven't been relegated yet.

"There are still lots of points left to play for and a couple of wins would still do it.

"Our character has to come through and we have to keep going.

"We haven't dropped into the bottom four just yet and we have to keep fighting.

"We're in a rut and it's down to us to get out of it.

"Most teams we face will see us as an easy three points, because of the run we're on.

"We need something dramatic to happen and we need a spark."

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