Tranmere Rovers boss Ronnie Moore has praised striker Cole Stockton after the striker played a key role in last night’s 3-0 FA Cup win at Braintree Town.
The League One leaders booked a place in the second-round of the competition after goals from Joe Thompson, Stockton and Max Power.
Stockton was one of half a dozen graduates of Tranmere’s youth system on show last night and it was his contribution that proved most vital.
His David Platt style volley, which Braintree stopper Danny Naisbitt could only parry, allowed Joe Thompson to prod home Rovers opener on 24 minutes.
He then plundered the second after a sharp turn and shot from 20-yards-out before his rounding things off with a pull-back to allow Max Power to score a well worked third.
“He’s done well. He’s still learning and he’s still a bit raw, but he led the line well on his own at times tonight,” Moore told BBC Radio Merseyside.
The 18-year-old, who was making only his second start for the club, has featured 13 times this season scoring three goals.
His performance could prompt Moore to hand him his first league start against MK Dons on Friday, although loanee Jake Cassidy, the division’s top goalscorer, will be available again after being refused permission to play in the FA Cup by parent club Wolves.
Midfielder Liam Palmer, who is on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, will also be free to return, but winger Thompson and centre-back Ash Taylor are doubtful after picking up injuries at the Amlin Stadium.
“What’s going on with the injuries is just ridiculous,” continued Moore. “Another wide man (Joe Thompson) went off with a thigh strain and a centre-half (Ash Taylor) went off with a hamstring injury.”
“We’ll be lucky if we can patch a side up for MK Dons on Friday.”