Tranmere Rovers produced a sensational comeback to earn a replay with Watford in the third round of the FA Cup.
Tranmere have had a shaky start to the season in League One and are currently 21st in the table–three points away from safety.
They traveled to Vicarage Road to face a Watford side in the midst of a new manager bounce following the arrival of Nigel Pearson.
The Hornets put them to the sword in the early exchanges and shot out to a 3-0 lead after 34 minutes through goals from Tom Dele-Bashiru, Nathaniel Chalobah, and Roberto Pereyra.
However, Micky Mellon’s side forced themselves back into the game after the break and scored their first through Connor Jennings in the 65th minute.
Manny Monthe smashed home a second with just over ten minutes to go and then Paul Mullin scored an 87th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot to secure a replay at Prenton Park next week.
Before the focus switches back to their League One duties, here are three things we learnt about Tranmere in the Watford draw…
There are two sides to this Tranmere team.
We saw two very different sides to Rovers on Saturday. Watford were impressive in the first half but Tranmere were simply not good enough.
After the break, however, they were a different beast and took the game to the opposition, drawing on the magic of the cup to produce a spirited and frankly sensational comeback.
Tranmere need to show that second side of themselves more often moving forward.
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There is a lot of fight and determination in this squad.
You have to credit Mellon’s men for the way they came out in the second half.
Facing a three-goal deficit against a Premier League side, it would’ve been easy for Tranmere to let their heads drop but they didn’t, they showed lots of fight and determination to drag themselves back into the game.
If they can work out how to draw from that in League One, it should provide their survival hopes with a huge boost.
Playing with freedom may be the key to League One survival.
Coming out 3-0 down to start the second half is obviously a place no side wants to find themselves in but what it allowed Tranmere to do on Saturday was to play with freedom.
They had to go for it, a mindset that allowed them to put three past a Premier League opposition in less than 25 minutes.
Mellon needs to find a way to get his side playing with that sort of freedom in the league as it could be key to their survival.