League Two
SalfordSalford City2TranmereTranmere Rovers2

Salford City 2-2 Tranmere Rovers: Chairman Mark Palios unhappy game went ahead after positive Covid-19 tests

Tranmere Rovers badge
Tranmere scored two late goals to draw with Salford on Saturday

Tranmere Rovers were unhappy that Saturday's League Two match at Salford City went ahead after two positive Covid-19 cases at the club left Rovers with a depleted squad.

Manager Mike Jackson confirmed after the 2-2 draw that several other players are isolating.

Despite those absences, Rovers came from 2-0 down to earn a point from their League Two fixture, scoring two late goals against the Ammies.

Vice-chairman Nicola Palios suggested on Twitter before kick-off that Tranmere were unable to postpone the match as "there was no guarantee" they would avoid a 15-point deduction.

Rovers chairman Mark Palios later told the PA news agency that after seeking guidance from the English Football League, Tranmere were advised to utilise youth players and the club felt they had little option but to play the match and "take our chances on the pitch rather than in a disciplinary hearing".

An EFL spokesperson said: "To suggest that a sporting sanction of 'up to 15 points' could be applicable as a result of potentially not playing a fixture is at best extremely misleading for supporters of both Tranmere Rovers and other clubs across the EFL.

"As the League has stated previously, it is up for each individual club to determine whether it is able to fulfil its fixture commitments.

"There are clear Covid related protocols in place that all clubs must adhere to alongside government guidance.

"Each situation is looked at on a case-by-case basis depending on what factors are present within each club and that is why some matches have been postponed whilst other clubs have been cleared to play, with the health, safety and wellbeing of players always being the priority.

"In the event a club does inform the league it is unable to fulfil a fixture, in normal circumstances, the club is deemed guilty of misconduct and charged with a breach of EFL regulations. If that same situation arises as a result of Covid-19 positive tests, the League would firstly look at the specific circumstances, before determining whether a club was to be subject to a charge.

"In both scenarios it would be an independent disciplinary commission not the EFL that would determine any sanction, if applicable, having heard representations from both parties. However, there is no sporting sanction tariff in this regard and a commission determines the type of punishment and to what level.

"Tranmere Rovers did contact the League last week with a specific query but this was in respect of under-21 players due to the recently introduced squad lists in League Two."

Leyton Orient, Grimsby Town and Crewe Alexandra have all had league fixtures called off so far this season because of positive tests within their respective squads, while Stevenage's League Two game at Bradford City last month was allowed to go ahead following a player's positive result.

As yet, no club has been subject to disciplinary action because of a coronavirus-related postponement.

"We had two positive tests at the start of the week. We'll keep under wraps who they are, but they are fine and isolating," Jackson told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"The club took a decision to isolate a group of our players. It has been a tough week. The way the staff and players have reacted is absolutely superb.

"The lads isolating are safe and well. The lads who have Covid are OK. The priority of a club is always the safety of our players and their families. We can't take risks with that. We've done everything that the protocols have asked of us and we've been right to the letter on it. That is bigger than a football match."

Richie Towell's deflected shot and James Wilson's powerful strike put Salford 2-0 up before Tranmere's late fightback.

Kieron Morris pulled a goal back and Paul Lewis fired in low 20-yard shot for the equaliser in stoppage time.

Line-ups

Salford

  • 1Hladky
  • 32Golden
  • 5Eastham
  • 16Turnbull
  • 3Touray
  • 17TowellSubstituted forDennyat 69'minutes
  • 8GibsonSubstituted forElliottat 79'minutes
  • 4Lowe
  • 19WilsonSubstituted forDieseruvweat 73'minutes
  • 40Henderson
  • 10Hunter

Substitutes

  • 6Clarke
  • 9Elliott
  • 11Carvalho Andrade
  • 20Dieseruvwe
  • 28Denny
  • 31Evans
  • 37Thomas-Asante

Tranmere

  • 13Murphy
  • 4Nelson
  • 5Ellis
  • 26Clarke
  • 6Monthe
  • 22LewisBooked at 48mins
  • 8Spearing
  • 17KhanBooked at 6mins
  • 7MorrisBooked at 45mins
  • 27BurtonSubstituted forWalker-Riceat 38'minutes
  • 14Woolery

Substitutes

  • 20Walker-Rice
  • 24Hayde
  • 25Nugent
  • 33Gouldbourne
  • 34Timlin
Referee:
Sam Allison

Match Stats

Home TeamSalfordAway TeamTranmere
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home8
Away17
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Salford City 2, Tranmere Rovers 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Salford City 2, Tranmere Rovers 2.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Salford City 2, Tranmere Rovers 2. Paul Lewis (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kaiyne Woolery (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Tom Elliott (Salford City).

  6. Post update

    Mark Ellis (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Tranmere Rovers. Conceded by Ibou Touray.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Salford City. Tylor Golden tries a through ball, but Emmanuel Dieseruvwe is caught offside.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Salford City 2, Tranmere Rovers 1. Kieron Morris (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Jay Spearing.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Mark Ellis (Tranmere Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Otis Khan with a cross.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Tylor Golden (Salford City).

  12. Post update

    Kieron Morris (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Paul Lewis (Tranmere Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Otis Khan with a cross.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Salford City. Ibou Touray tries a through ball, but Tom Elliott is caught offside.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Salford City. Tom Elliott replaces Darron Gibson.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Alex Denny (Salford City).

  17. Post update

    Danny Walker-Rice (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ashley Hunter (Salford City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ibou Touray.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Emmanuel Monthe (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Peter Clarke (Tranmere Rovers) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Otis Khan with a cross following a corner.