Rovers crash out of F.A. Cup following dubious 2-1 defeat to the Bantams

By Matthew Jones
Last updated : 07 November 2005
Verdict: Rovers robbed of well deserved win

Tranmere were robbed of what would have been their second consecutive win because of some slack second half defending, woefull striking and a linesman.

Rovers took the lead in the 6th minute, a great goal for Chris Greenacre, his first away from home for Tranmere Rovers.  Steven Jennigns flicked the ball on to Rovers' Number 10, who did the rest with a nice finish to the goalkeepers left.
 
Rovers controlled the first half, and although they would have been happy with their lead, it really should have been 2-0 at half time atleast.  Delroy Facey put a free header straight into Rickets, the Bradford keeper arms whilst Steven Jennings and Chris Greenacre both had chances to extend Rovers' lead, and one excellent cross from Delroy Facey on the right whistled over the both of them in the penalty area.
Into the Second half and Rovers still looked comfortable.  But three incorrect, and poor decisions went against Rovers in the space of 30 seconds, ending up in the Bradford goal.

Firstly, Tranmere should have had what looked a blatent penalty.  A Danny Harrison shot was blockedand controlled by the Bradford defenders arm, but nothing was given. Play moved on and 15 seconds later, the ball went out of play, off a Bradford player.  However, although all 6116 of the fans in the ground saw this, the referee didn't, and a throw-in was given to Bradford.  Once again, play moved on, with the Rovers fans now more than a little disgruntled, and within half a minute, Crooks had the ball 35 yards out.  He let fly with a wonderful shot, which Achterberg could not have saved.  The ball hit the cross bar and bounced down atleast one foot infront of the goal-line, as TV replays prove.  However, the linesman with extraordinarily poor eyesight's flag wen up, and a goal was give.  How a goal can be given here I will never know, as the ball obviously bounced forward!

Then the Bradford penalty, which was a stone wall penatly.  Tranmere had gone to sleep and were being complacent.  They woke up with Windass in posession inside the are.  Dean Windass was then bundled down inside the 18-yard box by Rovers center back Ian Sharps.  Windass got up and put the penalty down to Achterberg's right.
On very bright point was Chris Dagnal when he came off the bench. He looked lively and sharp, and if it hadn't been for some good defending (and some terrible decisions from the referee and his assistant) he could have had a goal or two.  Sam Aiston too looked very good when he came on.  Providing some wicked crosses which unfortunatly knowbody could get the ball into the back of the net, as the ball often fell to Ian Sharps or Danny Harrison, who's shooting was woefull.

Jones' Man of the Match: Tough one. Definatly not Delroy Facey, Danny Harrison or Paul Linwood for sure! Jennings had a reasonably good game, as did Greenacre but I thought Sharps and Jackson were outstanding and Rankine played very well too.  So, my man of the match will go to Steven Jennings/Mike Jackson.

Trending on the boards