Phil Yelland takes a closer look at our record on the Wirral ahead of Boxing Day's trip to face Tranmere Rovers.
Boxing Day sees us head for Prenton Park for the 53rd time in all competitions and we will be looking to improve on our record at a venue which we have won just 11 times in our previous visits.
Last season we travelled to Birkenhead in April and lost to a second half goal from David Nugent – it was our third defeat in a row without scoring.
Our last Boxing Day trip to Rovers took place in 1963 when a goal from Gordon Brown helped us earn a point in a 1-1 draw. 48 hours later the return game at Holker Street also finished 1-1.
Before that, we also went to Rovers on Boxing Day 1957 in Division Three North just 24 four hours after our last Christmas Day game when Rovers had won 4-1 at Holker Street. We performed rather better on Boxing Day with Brian Birch’s goal helping us to a 1-1 draw.
Ironically, our first trip (in the Second Division of the Lancashire Combination) in September 1910 produced our equal biggest win – a 4-0 triumph with goals from Arthur Gallagher, Benny Ives, Callaghan and an O’Connor own goal.
Our heaviest defeat at Prenton Park came on New Year’s Day 1927 when we lost 7-2 with consolation goals from Alex Bosomworth and Charlie Tilbrook. The result was part of a truly miserable run which had started two seasons earlier – we lost eight successive games on the Wirrall, conceding 37 goals along the way. We ended the sequence with a 3-1 win in October 1933 with Frank Allen (2) and Ralph Hills on target.
After that win, we were to go another 15 trips to Prenton Park in various competitions without a win before, in April 1955, winning 4-0 there thanks to a Jim Collins double and goals from John Armstrong and Ronnie Codd.
Rovers and ourselves won promotion to Division Three at the end of the 1966/67 season and around that time we enjoyed a four-match unbeaten run there. It began with a 2-1 win in April 1966 with goals from Jim Mulholland and Mick Hartland and was followed by a victory and a draw before, in September 1968 under Colin Appleton, a 3-0 win with goals from Jim Mulvaney (2) and Peter Bebbington.
During Rovers’ time in the National League, we lost three of our four games at Prenton Park, including one in the FA Trophy. Our only win came in October 2015, and it was a real surprise following a 5-0 hammering at Bromley three days earlier. We won 1-0 with a strike from Andy Haworth.
Let’s hope we can record win number 12 on Sunday.