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Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Tranmere 3-1 Brentford

Brentford's unbeaten start to the season came to an end as Tranmere produced a superb display at Prenton Park with Simon Haworth scoring twice.

The hosts started brightly with Gary Jones' right-foot shot whistling over the crossbar before Rovers boss Ray Mathias was forced into an early change with Kevin Gray being forced off through injury.

Former Everton striker Stuart Barlow was his replacement and shortly after, Brentford's Mark McCammon was booked following a foul on Graham Allen.

Tranmere continued to look lively in attack with a shot from Tom Curtis blocked by Jay Smith before Gareth Roberts was shown the yellow card after his lunge on Kevin O'Connor.

Haworth's left-foot shot from the edge of the area went wide as the Bees continued to be put under pressure before Ian Sharps was booked for the home side.

Home-side domination

Haworth continued to be a nuisance while Barlow was denied by a brilliant save from Brentford goalkeeper Paul Smith.

It was all Tranmere and after Haworth headed Ryan Taylor's cross just wide from six yards, the striker opened the scoring when he met another Taylor centre and planted the ball into the back of the net.

Jones prodded another chance wide for the rampant hosts shortly after the break and Wally Downes made a change when Smith was replaced by Jamie Fullarton as the visitors looked for a way back into the game.

Taylor had a free-kick saved by Smith as Rovers continued to create all the chances and they finally doubled their advantage through Haworth.

Mickey Mellon produced good work down the right before finding the former Wigan striker, who lashed a left-foot shot into the top corner of the net.

Rowan Vine was immediately hauled off by Downes with Leon Constantine taking his place.

Tranmere came within a whisker of adding a third when Taylor's excellent free-kick following a foul on Jason Price struck the woodwork.

Eddie Hutchinson was taken off with Mark Williams replacing him as Brentford made their final change.

And they at least mustered a brief forward foray when Fullarton and Williams both fired shots at home goalkeeper John Achterberg.

Fullarton was then booked for a foul on Barlow before the Tranmere striker had a shot cleared by Michael Dobson and shortly after, Ijah Anderson blocked Mellon's effort.

The impressive Howarth had a shot blocked by the feet of Smith as time ran out before Price did add to the lead when he headed home Barlow's pin-point cross.

Kevin O'Connor pulled one back at the death when he met Dobson's inswinging corner to head the ball home but it was to no avail.


Tranmere: Achterberg, Allen, Sharps, Gray, Taylor, Jones, Mellon, Curtis, Roberts, Haworth, Price. Subs: Barlow, Parkinson, Welch, Hume, Olsen.

Brentford: Paul Smith, Dobson, Somner, Sonko, Anderson, O'Connor, Jay Smith, Hutchinson, Hunt, McCammon, Vine. Subs: Julian, Chorley, Constantine, Williams, Fullarton.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Radio Merseyside's Derek Jones
"The Bees hardly got a look in"
Tranmere boss Ray Mathias
"Our best performance of the season"

Saturday's games

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