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Match Report


Posted Tue 12 Apr 05 at 22:56 PM


Brentford climbed back into the top four after a 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Griffin Park. Michael Turner's first goal for the club, a screamer from the edge of the penalty area, was all that separated the sides in a tough game where no quarter was asked, or given.

Brentford made two changes to the team which defeated Bristol City on Saturday with Jay Tabb and Marcus Gayle dropping to the substitutes bench. Isaiah Rankin and John Salako replaced them in the line-up. Early in the proceedings it became clear that the teams were evenly matched, the visitors back five were kept busy by the lively Deon Burton and Scott P. Fitzgerald and Brentford held the advantage territorially and in possession.

Burton flicked a Salako corner over the bar early on and Darren Pratley's flicked through ball was just too strong for Fitzgerald while at the other end Gareth Roberts curled a free kick narrowly over the bar. There were half chances at either end as the half developed but neither goalkeeper was unduly stretched. Rankin fired over the bar from a Fitzgerald cross and Pratley had two efforts from distance, one which flew wide the other comfortably gathered by Tranmere keeper John Achterberg.

Iain Hume almost created an opening for Theodore Whitmore but the Jamaican midfield player dithered on the edge of the area and the chance was wasted while Paul Hall went to ground under little pressure when it appeared he was clean through, referee Mr Hegley waved play on.

Brentford came out with renewed vigour in the second half determined to turn their dominance in possession into chances and goals. Burton headed a Frampton cross wide early on and Turner whistled a shot wide after Achterberg failed to deal with a Salako cross. Substitute Tabb almost broke the deadlock with his first touch, but his shot was blocked by Ian Sharps.

Hume was still the principle danger at the other end, Roberts fired wide after the diminutive Canadian worked some space for him on the edge of the area and Sam Sodje's last ditch tackle denied Hume after Whitmoreís through ball sent him clear. Brentford's breakthrough came in the 68th minute, and it was worth waiting for. Tabb's corner was too long for Sodje but Stewart Talbot kept the ball alive on the far side. His cross wasnít properly cleared and it dropped to Turner who rifled the ball into the top corner.

Michael Turner

The lead could have been doubled three minutes later when Talbot's deep free kick was headed back across the area by Sodje. Rankin reacted quickest and flicked a header towards goal but Achterberg caught it at full stretch. Tranmere threw men forward but it was Brentford substitute Matt Harrold who could have secured the three points when he latched on to a long forward pass. He knocked it past Achterberg but was out muscled in the chase and Tranmere cleared.

Tranmere had chances to snatch a point at the death, a Sharps header was gathered by Stuart Nelson, Chris Dagnall curled a shot wide after nipping past Turner and Sam Sodje produced a fantastic last ditch block to deny Mark Rankine as Brentford held firm. Unfortunately Tranmere ended the game with ten men as Ryan Taylor had to be carried off on a stretcher and Rovers had used all their substitutes.

Brentford climbed back into the top four after a 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Griffin

Line-up: Nelson, Talbot, Turner, Rankin, Frampton, O'Connor, Sodje, Burton (sub Harrold 86 mins), Salako (sub Tabb 56), Pratley, Fitzgerald (Scott P) (sub Gayle 68mins).

Subs not used: Bankole, Myers.

Attendance: 6,005.

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