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Match Report


Posted Tue 30 Aug 11 at 10:57 AM


Tranmere Rovers' Andy Robinson scored one and made one as his team left Griffin Park with a well-earned three points.

The Merseyside outfit produced a fine away performance as they stifled Brentford, attacked at pace and with numbers and scored two good goals.

Brentford probably had more possession but they found it hard to pass the ball through a tightly packed Tranmere midfield and in Robinson, the visitors had the man to unlock the home defence.

They could have scored early on but Richard Lee was alert to palm out a fierce long range shot and from a Robinson corner soon after, Robbie Weir headed wide.

Lucas Akins had a header gathered by Lee from another Robinson delivery before Martin Devaney sliced a volley well wide.

Brentford were simply unable to deal with how high up the pitch Tranmere pressed the ball in the first half hour, they couldn't play through them and only really looked dangerous when the ball was played in to spaces behind for Clayton Donaldson or Niall McGinn to move on to.

Sam Saunders had a free kick blocked and then floated a corner in that Tranmere had to clear after Leon Legge nodded down.

Dave Raven headed wide when well placed from another Robinson delivery and Akins was unable to turn in another fine cross soon after but the visitors finally broke through just before the half hour.

Robinson was, unsurprisingly, the architect with a fine cross from the right and Weir drifted in past the Brentford defence to head home.

John Welsh sliced a shot wide as Tranmere took control and Mustafa Tiryaki blazed a free kick well over.

Brentford should, however, have been level five minutes before the break.

Mark McChrystal made a mess of dealing with a Craig Woodman ball and let Donaldson through one-on-one - but the defender was reprieved by Owain Fon Williams who saved superbly.

From the resulting corner Donaldson couldn't get above Saunders' delivery and he nodded wide.

Gary Alexander came within a whisker of equalising when his lofted volley bounced off the top of the crossbar and away to safety but Tiryaki should have done better than shoot straight at Lee from eight yards after good work by Raven and Robinson at the other end.

Referee David Phillips waved away appeals for a penalty when Donaldson went down under the challenge of Ian Goodison in first half stoppage time as Tranmere went to the break ahead and well worth it.

Brentford almost hit straight back after the break but McGinn scuffed an effort from 18 yards and Tranmere went immediately to the other end and scored again.

The ball dropped to the influential Robinson 25 yards out and he struck an unerring bouncing effort past Lee and in to the corner of the net.

Saunders lifted an effort on to the roof of the net and Alexander shot wide as Brentford tried to find a way back in to the game.

They were playing more in the Tranmere half in the second period but were just unable to create many clear cut openings.

Jonathan Douglas shot wide at the end of a seven or eight pass move but Lee had to be alert to keep out a swerving effort from Devaney at the other end, while Robinson volleyed across the face of goal.

Lee saved low from Devaney again soon after and Akins shot in to the side netting as Tranmere threatened to put the game completely beyond their hosts.

Donaldson narrowly missed the target from distance while Lee save from Joss Labadie at the other end as time started to run down.

It took a wondrous double save from Fon Williams to preserve his teams two goal lead ten minutes before the end.

A corner was half cleared, Donaldson fired a shot towards the corner only for the goalkeeper to stop the first effort and then get down to keep out Alexander's follow-up.

McGinn shot wide late on for Brentford but they were looking a beaten team.

Kevin O'Connor slipped and screwed a shot wide when a free kick was half cleared and Alexander had a shot blocked while Labadie fired a free kick in to the defensive wall at the other end.

Fon Williams kept out a Mike Grella header with his knees at the death but the Tranmere defence had a clean sheet to go with their three points to take on the journey north.

Brentford: Lee; O'Connor, Legge (sub Eger 56 mins), Osborne, Woodman; Saunders (sub Grella 65 mins), Reeves (sub Bean h/t), Douglas, McGinn; Alexander, Donaldson

Subs (not used): Moore, Weston

Bookings: Osborne (33 mins) (second of season), Saunders (54 mins) (third of season), Douglas (73 mins) (second of season), Bean (84 mins)

Tranmere Rovers: Fon Williams; Raven, Goodison, McChrystal, Buchanan; Weir, Welsh; Akins (sub Bakayogo 74 mins), Robinson (sub Labadie 68 mins), Devaney; Tiryaki (sub Showunmi 66 mins)

Subs (not used): Coughlin, Kay

Bookings: Tiryaki (32 mins), Devaney (62 mins), Buchanan (77 mins), Weir (90 mins)

Attendance: 5,381 (291 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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