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Match Report


Posted Sun 02 Mar 03 at 17:33 PM


A lacklustre performance from the Bees in an overall disappointing match between two form sides ended up with them going down by the odd goal in three.

More may have been expected from a clash between the current form team and Brentford who were on for three consecutive wins, but it never turned out that way.

Brentford`s cause wasn't helped by the fact that Wally Downes, whose side had already seen one enforced change (Stephen Hughes for the injured Stephen Hunt) and one change of choice (Rowan Vine rested in favour of Leon Constantine), lost the influential Eddie Hutchinson just seven minutes into the game following an accidental clash of heads with Gary Jones.

Following lengthy treatment he was replaced by Scott Marshall who moved into the back line thus allowing Michael Dobson to move forward. Come the twentieth minute Rovers had taken the lead. A long clearance from Gareth Roberts led to three players converging on the ball just outside the area.Paul Smith, Ibu Sonko and Simon Haworth. The ball ran free and there was Iain Hume with the goal at his mercy and he played the ball into the empty net from 25 yards.

Rovers to be fair, looked the more likely to get on the scoresheet again, but even though they forced five corners without reply they couldn't find the net. Brentford rarely threatened with any conviction, and both Constantine and Mark McCammon were guilty of wasting the few chances that did go the way of the home side. Hopes were high that the Bees would come storming out of the traps come the restart as they so often do.

But within just two minutes Rovers extended their lead still further. A corner on the left was blocked but then played beyond the far post where Gary Jones had acres of space to set up a lofted centre which was made for Simon Haworth to convert just beyond the left hand post.

This left the Bees with a mountain to climb. Rowan Vine was introduced into the action in the 53rd minute replacing Hughes and almost straight away he made his presence felt which led to a shot from Kevin O`Connor which was deflected for the Bees first corner. Three minutes later an absolutely brilliant volley from Dobbo on the edge of the area led to an equally superb tip over save from John Achterberg. The Bees were making a fight of it but twice the ball was blocked on the line.

Firstly a header from Constantine was somehow kept out, then with twenty minutes remaining neither Vine nor Jay Smith were able to force the ball over the line just inches away.

But with one minute left of the two meagre minutes added on the Bees gained a consolation when Ibu Sonko, at the second attempt, got the ball into the net. But it was too little too late, and Tranmere continued their improved form with another important result as only the second team to complete the double over the Bees this season.

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