Bristol Rovers boost as Tranmere Rovers without two key players for crunch League Two promotion clash

Bristol Rovers have received a boost that their opponents on Saturday have had their appeals to overturn bans rejected

<p>Tranmere Rovers will be without two of their regular first team players after their appeals were rejected. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)</p>

Tranmere Rovers will be without two of their regular first team players after their appeals were rejected. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Tranmere Rovers are to be without two of their key players against Bristol Rovers after appeals to overturn their bans were turned down.

Midfielder Kieron Morris and left-back Calum MacDonald were both shown straight red cards in their 2-2 draw with Carlisle United last Saturday.

MacDonald was shown a red card in the first half for a reckless challenge, which resulted in a pile on from both sides, with six players booked. His teammate MacDonald was then sent off for tackling Carlisle’s Rod McDonald in stoppage time, to stop him from scoring a winner.

The Merseyside club appealed the decisions to the Football Association, but both have been rejected, with their bans still standing.

A statement from Rovers’ opponents Tranmere read: "The club can confirm that the appeals for both Kieron Morris and Calum MacDonald have been rejected with an additional game being added to Kieron’s suspension.

"The club will be making no further comment."

To rub salt into the wounds, for their failed attempt to overturn Morris’ suspension, an extra game has been added, meaning he will miss the next four matches.

With only six games left in the season, for two of their key players to miss either half or more than a half of the run-in, is a massive blow to their ambitions.

Morris, has played 35 matches for Tranmere this season and has got five goals and four assists for Rovers’ promotion rivals.

MacDonald meanwhile has featured 32 times for Tranmere and he himself has got a goal and an assist.

Both players featured at the Memorial Stadium in the reverse fixture back in December and MacDonald actually got on the score sheet, scoring Tranmere’s first goal as they clawed back a point having been two goals down.

Micky Mellon’s side are two places below Rovers in seventh and two points separate them, whilst they are also winless in their last three matches.

In response to the red cards, they have recalled Kyle Hayde from his loan spell from Marine, to add numbers to their match day squad.

They also have former Rovers centre-back Tom Davies in their ranks. The 29-year-old spent two seasons at the club but was loaned out to Barrow last season, after making 19 appearances in the 2019/20 campaign.

He was released last summer and joined Tranmere on a free transfer, where he has gone on to make 32 starts.