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Match Report


Posted Sat 08 Sep 01 at 19:07 PM


A stunning second half performance by the Bees, who no doubt had thoughts of the Newcastle United just four days ahead in their minds, swept aside the challenge of Merseyside`s Tranmere Rovers and in doing so moved the Bees ahead of the other 23 Second Division sides to the top of the table.

The Bees, in front of a season's best crowd of 5,211, paraded new loan signing Adrian Careres in place of the injured Stephen Hunt.

The frenetic ending was preceded by a quiet start with neither side gaining any early supremacy. In fact it took the Bees five minutes to put together any attack of note when Jason Price seized on a loose ball in the area. However he underhit his shot and the keeper gathered with ease.

Four minutes later and a fine crossfield ball from Gavin Mahon picked out Caceres who went on a run only to loose the ball on the edge of the area.

Rovers who had taken even longer to make it into the Bees area, went close, or as close as they were likely to all afternoon, when in the 11th minute Micky Mellon played to Stuart Barlow. But he totally miscued his shot.

Following good play by Ben Burgess in the fourteenth minute, when he played back to Michael Dobson, a diagonal centre materialised and as Mahon shaped to shoot the ball was swept away for the first corner of the game.

On the twenty-minute mark the ball was played to Sean Flynn whose resultant shot was blocked for the visitor's first corner.

Midway through the first half Rovers managed to enjoy some extended moments of possession. But whenever they did it was all at a distance and the Bees defence were rarely over extended.

In the 23rd minute following such a spell the Bees broke forward and a ball from Paul Gibbs was played on to Paul Evans who played in a dangerous diagonal ball towards Darren Powell at the far post. But it was whipped away by Steve Yates for a corner.

A minute later Burgess and Powell combined together to set up Evo for a chance in the area. But a corner was the Bees only reward.

A bad clearance by the visiting keeper was seized upon by Caceres in the 25th minute and having played on to Price, the Welshman had two shots blocked.

Then on the half hour the Bees took the lead. Lloyd Owusu seized upon an error by Yates and took it on in the area. He rounded the keeper and with great aplomb rolled the ball into the net from an angle.

Within two minutes of the goal, both Gibbo and Evo had thirty yard plus efforts peppering the goal.Gibbo from open play and Evo from a free kick.

There was little action of note for the remainder of the half save for a good punched clearance by Oli Gott in the 37th minute and a late fourth corner for the Bees.

The Bees may well have gone two up a minute into the second half. But visiting keeper Joe Murphy did well to deny Burgess in the area following sterling work by Caceres and Owusu.

The Bees were now stepping up the pressure and a Paul Evans effort in the 51st minute flew at distance just wide of the left hand post.

Cool defensive play by Powelly in the 53rd minute saw him win the ball and then sweep forward beating two markers on the way before playing on to Burgess.

Barlow chipped the ball high over the bar in the 55th minute. Three minutes and another piece of personal brilliance saw Big Ben glide the ball over the visitor's defence and into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

The Bees now started to bombard the Rovers goal and with Dobson, Evans and Price running amok outside the area Bees fans were waiting expectantly for the Bees attackers in the area to receive.

Tranmere made a double substitution in the 62nd minute.

On 71 minutes Oli Gott was called into rare action when he stopped a Mellon free kick on the line.

In the 74th minute Kevin O`Connor came on to replace Burgess and within the minute the Bees scored from a well rehearsed corner. From the Bees fifth corner Gibbo played to Mahon who played inside to Evo who cracked in a low shot which flew into the far corner of the net.

Tranmere then force three corners none of which proved too difficult for a very dominant Bees defence.

Mark Williams came on for debutant Caceres in the 78th minute.

Following two more Bees corners in the 82nd minute, the Bees started to bombard the away goal in front of the noisy Brook Road fans. O`Connor had a cracking volleyed goal disallowed before Williams headed the Bees fourth goal of the afternoon in the 88th minute.

There was still time for O`Connor to have another strike disallowed and for Jason Price to storm through and see his effort smack against the cross bar. 0

The final whistle eventually came as a blessed relief for Tranmere but the Bees fans would have been more than happy for more action.

A classic performance by the Bees when for many any sort of result this afternoon prior to the Cup game on Wednesday would have been exceptable.

Steve Coppell has gathered together quite a squad of players, and who knows where they are heading.

Bees: Gottskalksson, Dobson, Ingimarsson, Powell, Gibbs, Price, Evans, Mahon, Caceres (Williams 78), Burgess (Burgess 74), Owusu (Rowlands). Subs unused: P Smith, Anderson.

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