Football: Muir puts Tranmere back on the track

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Tranmere Rovers. . . . . 3

West Bromwich Albion. . .0

TRANMERE ROVER'S unsettled striker Ian Muir added two more goals to an impressive tally for the Merseyside club as his side emphasised their promotion prospects with a slick return to winning form at Prenton Park last night.

The 30-year-old player is on a weekly contract, having drifted into the shadow of John Aldridge, despite a club record aggregate of 131 League goals in nine years. With Aldridge struggling to overcome a thigh injury, however, Muir is making a strong claim for more regular inclusion. Last night's First Division goals raised his score this season to six from eight starts.

Tranmere, who had collected only one point from three games before last night, had Albion chasing shadows for much of the second half. It was a miserable evening for the Midland side, who had the fullback Neil Parsley carried off in the first half and the midfielder Ian Hamilton shown the red card for a second bookable offence three minutes from the end on the way to a sixth consecutive away defeat.

Muir was soon hinting at a profitable night and earned the breakthrough in the 39th minute. Mark Proctor released Muir inside the penalty area to slide a shot past Tony Lange's left hand.

The pace of Bob Taylor and Lee Ashcroft had given the visitors encouragement early in the game but Eric Nixon was largely unemployed in the second half.

Pat Nevin, showing a deft touch with his back to goal, hooked in Tranmere's second after 62 minutes following Proctor's knockdown and Muir put the game beyond Albion's reach seven minutes later, exchanging passes with Jon Kenworthy before beating Lange.

Tranmere Rovers (4-4-2): Nixon; Thomas, Higgins, Vickers, Nolan; Kenworthy, Brannan, Proctor, Nevin; Malkin, Muir. Substitutes not used: Mungall, Branch, Jones (gk).

West Bromwich Albion (1-4-3-2): Lange; O'Regan; Parsley (Reid, 32), Strodder (Garner, 76), Burgess, Lilwall; Ashcroft, Hamilton, Donovan; Taylor, Hunt. Substitute not used: Naylor (gk).

Referee: R Dilkes (Mossley).