Tranmere go bottom after loss to Brentford
Two goals from Kevin O`Connor and a late Marcus Bean tap-in gave Brentford all three points as Tranmere slipped down to the bottom of League One.
Aaron Cresswell was judged to have handballed a cross into the box which led to O`Connor converting a spot-kick inside 10 minutes which plagued Rovers gameplan from the start.
Dale Jennings came close for the home side with a few long-range efforts and Enoch Showunmi even got the ball into the net as the game creeped into stoppage-time, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside. But Brentford were in control from the start and more than deserved the win.
White's boss Les Parry made two changes to the side that lost at Southampton last week as Ian Goodison returned from suspension to replace Nick Wood in defence, with the start marking his 300th appearance for the club, whilst Liam Darville returned from injury to take the place of Max Blanchard at right-back. Adam McGurk was passed fit to make the subs bench in place of Ian Thomas-Moore.
There was early pressure from the away side and a huge cheer from the travelling fans when Charlie McDonald finished well inside the box only to have his effort chalked off for a foul.
But they didn`t have to wait long before they were cheering again. McDonald`s high cross found Cresswell and Alexander at the back-post, with the former Milwall striker wrestling young left-back into palming the ball out of play. Despite protests from the fans behind the goal the penalty was given and O`Connor drove the ball underneath the body of Peter Gulacsi at the right post.
The home support who seemed frustrated with their teams long-ball tactics were given a lift five minutes later when Jennings darted past two players to get into the box. His low cross found Arnaud Mendy who`s shot cannoned off a Brentford defender on its way out for a throw-in.
Jennings was involved in another chance down the left as he ran onto a Cresswell through ball. His powerful shot went wide of Ben Hamer`s left post as the Bees breathed a sigh of relief. Lucas Akins almost got onto the end of a Showunmi cross a few minutes later as the home side attempted to find an equaliser.
Despite some near misses in front of the away fans, Brentford were still winning a lot of the high balls which were being brought on and made into chances. Alexander was creating problems up-front and a Scott Wootton slip allowed him to put a cross into the six-yard box that was cleared by a lunging Darville just before it reached McDonald. Tranmere continued to launch balls up to Showunmi that were getting cleared by the away side before the whistle blew for half-time.
Tranmere started slow after the break but a run by Jennings ended in a corner that had Brentford camping out in the box for a few minutes, but nothing was being met in the air by the home side and the Bees cleared upfield to end the pressure.
Alexander should have probably made it two when he was gifted with a shooting opportunity on 52 minutes which was met by Gulacsi, who raced out of his goal to stop the first before seeing the rebound sail over his head and into the stand.
There should have been a goal at the other end soon after with Showunmi heading a Cresswell cross down and comfortably wide, whilst Goodison also failed to direct a header into the goal as Cresswell began to get into the game further up the pitch.
Ryan Fraughan came on for Paul McLaren on 65 minutes as Parry looked to go forward, but a hammer blow was just round the corner as an O`Connor free-kick from the left bounced once in the area on its way in at Gulacsi`s far post.
There was controversy as the referee failed to stop the game when Showunmi went down with a head injury inside the box, with the game only halting once Brentford had their attack snuffed out at the other end. Sam Morrow was brought on in place of Akins as Tranmere searched for a way back into the game.
As the minutes ticked down, the White`s pushed up, leading to a Brentford counter attack that ended with Bean advancing into the box to kill off the game with a side-footed shot.
Tranmere: Gulacsi, Darville, Wootton, Goodison, Cresswell, Mendy, McLaren (Fraughan 65), Welsh, Akins (Morrow 72) Showunmi, Jennings. Subs not used: Collister, Wood, Bakayogo, Blanchard, McGurk.