Tranmere saved by the thrust of Parry

Stockport County 0 Tranmere Rovers 3
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The Independent Football

A chaotic season that saw the former England international John Barnes replaced as manager by the club physiotherapist ended in relief for Tranmere as they avoided relegation from League One with a last-day victory at the bottom club, Stockport.

Having spent the last month in the bottom four, Rovers left it late to claw their way out of trouble, goals from Ian Goodison, Ian Thomas-Moore and Joss Labadie earning their first away victory since 9 February.

Les Parry, the physio turned manager, could enjoy the 3,000 jubilant away fans serenading him with "Who Needs Mourinho, We've Got Our Physio" well before the final whistle.

Parry was put in temporary charge in October when Barnes left after a run of two wins in 11 League games. His first match in charge saw a 1-0 home defeat by the League One whipping boys Stockport, but there was no repeat yesterday.

In the end the only thing that threatened to spoil his day was a pitch invasion at the final whistle by away fans in which a crossbar at the Railway End was damaged. That could yet see Tranmere the subject of a Football Association investigation, but Parry was not going to let that ruin the moment.

"I'm absolutely elated," said Parry, who now hopes to get the manager's job on a long-term basis. "I don't know how I have managed to stop myself from crying, but I have done.

"I like to think I'll be here next season, but I have to go away and have a word with the chairman. If I'm not here as manager I like to think I'll be here as the physio."

Starting the day in 21st spot, Tranmere knew they could still go down with a win but Goodison, the long-serving defender, settled their nerves with a close-range finish in the 38th minute.

Thomas-Moore's 15th goal of the campaign in the 53rd minute was a cue for Tranmere's fans to party before Labadie seized on a blunder by County's goalkeeper Lloyd Rigby 14 minutes from time.

"All three goals were poor from our point of view," said the disappointed Stockport manager, Gary Ablett.