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Saturday, 26 October, 2002, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Cardiff 4-0 Tranmere
Rob Earnshaw puts Cardiff 2-0 up against Tranmere with a penalty kick
Cardiff's Rob Earnshaw strikes from the penalty spot

Cardiff City kept up their challenge for the Division Two title with a thumping 4-0 win over visiting Tranmere Rovers.

Peter Thorne led the Bluebirds' line and capped a fine afternoon with two goals as Cardiff remained second in the table behind Wigan.

But it was Wales striker Robert Earnshaw who stole the show once again, giving the Tranmere defence a torrid evening and converting a penalty.

Defender Rhys Weston rounded off a fine performance for Lennie Lawrence's team in injury time by advancing down the right flank and lashing a shot into the far corner.

Cardiff striker Peter Thorne
Peter Thorne led the Cardiff challenge

Tranmere were brought crashing back down to earth following their midweek 5-0 thrashing of Hartlepool in the LDV Vans Trophy.

Their shell-shocked players will not have relished the news from the FA Cup first-round draw as they trooped off the pitch - they must face Cardiff once again.

However, Tranmere ended Cardiff's FA Cup run at Prenton Park last season and will hope that they can produce the same result at the same venue once again.

Big striker Thorne opened the scoring in the 29th minute after his initial effort had hit the post.

Earnshaw doubled the lead with his 13th goal of the season from the penalty spot after Rovers defender Mick Mellon had been adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area.

Chris Barker's pinpoint cross was headed home by Thorne for his second goal with nine minutes remaining.

Then Weston capped an impressive personal performance by settling matters in the dying moments after being played in by substitute Andy Campbell.


Cardiff: Alexander, Weston, Prior, Gabbidon, Croft, Boland, Kavanagh, Maxwell, Legg, Earnshaw, Thorne. Subs: Barker, Campbell, Hamilton, Fortune-West, Margetson.

Tranmere: Achterberg, Nicholson, Allen, Roberts, Edwards, Connelly, Mellon, Olsen, Harrison, Taylor, Proudlock. Subs: Gray, Parkinson, Barlow, McGuire, Whitehead.

Referee: C Penton (Sussex).


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