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Match Report


Posted Wed 12 Nov 03 at 10:30 AM


Rangers win the West London derby after a close-fought match at Loftus Road.

Brentford failed to produce their recent good form, with Tony Thorpe's 42nd minute goal deciding the contest.

Wally Downes chose Ben May over Matt Harold, with skipper Michael Dobson recovering from illness. After three minutes, Bees striker Ben May gave Eddie Hutchinson a chance for Brentford to take the lead, but he shot wide from just outside the Rangers penalty box. The Bees survived a fright two minutes later, as a dangerous cross from Rangers winger Kevin McLoed met the head of Martin Rowlands, the ex-Bee clipping the bottom of Paul Smith's left-hand post.

Brentford's best opportunity arrived in the thirteenth minute. Jay Tabb's spectacular overhead kick - from Ben May's flick - brought a fine save from Rs goalkeeper Paul Day. Paul Smith saved Ibrahima Sonko's blushes three minutes later, diving low to parry the centre-back's wayward header after the Senegalese International was put under pressure.

A good twenty minutes past with neither side creating a decent chance. Joel Kitamirike's pass but Kevin Gallen thundered through to unleash a twenty-five yard shot that whistled narrowly past Paul Smith's post.

Rangers broke the deadlock three minutes before half-time. Kevin O'Connor conceded a free-kick for a foul on Kevin O'McLeod, for which the Bees midfielder was booked. Richard Edghill's cross was headed on by McLeod, and striker Tony Thorpe bundled the ball past Paul Smith from three yards out.

In the 58th minute, The Bees spurned an opening to equalise. Jay Tabb's header to Ben May in the Rangers box gave the on-loan striker a golden opportunity but he headed weakly at Day from five yards out. Tony Rougier then blasted the re-bound over the top.

Tommy Wright and Stephen Evans replaced Jay Tabb and Kevin O'Connor with twenty-five minutes remaining. Rangers should have doubled their lead in the 72nd minute. Kevin Gallen supplied Kevin McLeod, but he shot wide inside the Bees penalty area.

With five minutes remaining, Matt Harrold, who had replaced the tiring Ben May, had his shot blocked in the Rangers area. The ball broke loose for McLeod but he again blazed over.

Attendance: 15,865.

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