Tranmere 1 Bristol City 1

Tranmere just failed to take all three points as they staged a grandstand finish against hard working Bristol City.

The visitors in the end had goalkeeper Steve Phillips to thank for a share of the spoils. He produced a fingertip save to deny Iain Hume in the first half and produce three more terrific stops from the same player in the closing minutes.

City went ahead after nine minutes with a well-struck angled left-foot shot by Mickey Bell when set up by skipper Joe Burnell.

Bell and Scott Murray were excellent in the City midfield and Matthew Hill was outstanding in defence, but Tranmere took the initiative in the second period and drew level on the hour.

Simon Haworth netted his 14th goal of the season with a powerful drive from the edge of the box after a poor clearance.

"It was very disappointing not to get all three points," said Rovers boss Ray Mathias.

"We sorted things out at half time and started to control the game in a convincing way. We created all the chances, but could not finish them off. Bristol are a good side and on the day we bettered them." Danny Wilson the City manager said: "Maybe they will feel they should have won the game, but at the end of the day we have come away with a good result.

"It was important we did not get beaten. We might even have won had we had taken our chances early on.

"But they put us under tremendous pressure later and thankfully our keeper made some good saves." Hume was a constant thorn in the City defence without enjoying much fortune.

Gareth Roberts and Sean Connelly also worked well for the Merseysiders, while Hill spoiled a good display for city with a 63rd caution for a foul.

Substitute Christian Roberts was also booked for a rash challenge on Connelly in the 47th minute just two minutes after joining the action.

But Roberts did well enough in attack after replacing the injured Lee Peacock.