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Match Report


Posted Wed 22 Aug 12 at 04:06 AM

Rovers defeated at Villa Park

Tranmere's Capital One Cup campaign was ended with a 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa on Tuesday night. 
The Premier League side took the lead through Fabian Delph late in the first half with Chris Herd and Darren Bent adding the second and third after half time. 
Rovers battled well but Villa's defence restricted them to mostly long range efforts throughout the 90 minutes.
Ronnie Moore again opted for an unchanged side following the 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury four days earlier, with the same seven substitutes.
Rovers' first real attack ended with Andy Robinson's cross being cleared inside the fourth minute, with Jake Cassidy shooting past the target soon after. 
At the other end Darren Bent was flagged offside after getting behind the Tranmere back four and it needed a good challenge from Liam Palmer to end Chris Herd's run on six minutes.
Play was waved on following a foul on Andy Robinson on the edge of the area on ten minutes with the ball following to Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro who had two shots blocked by a defender. 
Owain Fon Williams watched on as Barry Bannan's 25 yard shot went well wide of goal on 14 minutes and the Rovers keeper was called into action three minutes later, pulling off a comfortable save to deny the Scottish midfielder.
Villa had the ball in the net on 19 minutes when Nathan Baker headed past Fon Williams at the far post but his effort was ruled out for a foul and the score remained level.
The game came to life just before the half hour mark when the first yellow card  was shown to Ash Taylor on 28 minutes for pulling back Darren Bent. From the resulting free kick Bannan struck the top of the cross bar, though it looked like Fon Williams had his shot covered.
Akpa Akpro got behind a defender to shoot straight at Brad Guzan on 33 minutes and soon after it needed strong defending from Joe Thompson to end Bannan's run towards goal.
The home side broke past the Rovers back line on 34 minutes when Bent was played in by Fabian Delph but Fon Williams was quickly off his line to save a low shot across goal with his feet. 
The home side throught they had the lead again on 35 minutes when Stephen Ireland lobbed Fon Williams only for his shot to be ruled out for offside, but they did go ahead three minutes later. A cross from the left wing from Enda Stevens reached Delph at the far post and his shot was deemed to have crossed the line before Fon Williams pushed the ball away.
Robinson's spectacular overhead kick attempt to level the score went wide of the target on 41 minutes, the final chance of the half at either end.
Ben Gibson blocked Eric Lichaj's shot in the second minute of the second half while none of Robinson's team mates could quite get on the end of his cross two minutes later.
Danny Holmes fired wide from 30 yards after Akpa Akpro won the ball from Matthew Lowton on the left wing and Bannan missed the target from a similar distance at the other end soon after. 
Liam Palmer's right foot shot along the ground was blocked after the midfielder received the ball from Holmes inside the area. The home side quickly countered through Ireland but his pass to Bent inside the area was intercepted and cleared by Zoumana Bakayogo.
Fon Williams kept out Bannan's low drive on 62 minutes and Holmes blocked a follow up effort. During the build up Taylor picked up an injury that eventually led to him being replaced by Michael Kay.
The defender had barely been on the pitch 60 seconds when Villa doubled their lead. Ireland cut into the area from the left and his low cross was stroked home by Chris Herd.
Rovers responded by introducing Abdulai Bell-Baggie in place of Thompson on the right wing.
The visitors claimed for handball and a penalty when Akpa Akpro's shot on the turn hit a defender on 74 minutes and as play continued Robinson's looping follow up was saved by Guzan.
After Fon Williams superbly palmed away Ireland's dipping long range effort on 75 minutes, Rovers replaced Robinson with Danny Harrison.
The midfielder fired over from 30 yards on 78 minutes after good play from Akpa Akpro and Wallace, while Fon Williams was almost caught out by Bent at the opposite end. 
Villa's third came on 81 minutes, with Bent smashing the ball past Fon Williams into the roof of the net from eight yards following Brett Holman's right wing cross. 

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lichaj, Lowton, Baker, Stevens (Holman 67), Bannan, Ireland, Herd (Burke 76), Delph, Weimann (N'Zogbia 70), Bent. Substitutes: Given, Holman, Delfouneso, Johnson, Williams.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor (Kay 65), Gibson, Bakayogo, Thompson (Bell-Baggie 68), Wallace, Palmer, Robinson (Harrison 76), Akpa Akpro, Cassidy. Substitutes: Mooney, Power, Kirby, Stockton.

Referee: James Adcock

Yellow cards: Taylor (28), Delph (77), Holmes (85)

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