Live Commentary: Braintree Town 0-3 Tranmere Rovers - as it happened

Live Commentary: Braintree Town 0-3 Tranmere Rovers - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live text updates from the FA Cup clash between Braintree Town and Tranmere Rovers.

Tranmere Rovers defeated Braintree Town in the first round of the FA Cup this evening.

Goals from Joe Thompson, Cole Stockton and Max Power saw off the non-league side and fired Rovers into the next phase.

Manager Ronnie Moore was without the services of loan stars Jake Cassidy and Liam Palmer this evening, who have not been granted permission to play by their parent clubs, but ground out a result.

Braintree went into the match in 19th place in the the Blue Square Premier League with two wins, three draws and three defeats at home this season, but held their own against the League One leaders, particularly in the first half.

Rovers will take on Chesterfield in the second round of the competition on the weekend of December 1 and 2.


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7.04pmGood evening and welcome to out live text coverage of the FA Cup clash between Braintree Town and Tranmere Rovers at the Amlin Stadium.

7.05pmYou can't beat a good FA Cup tie. Even at this early stage of the competition there's no shortage of magic. It would be considered quite a feat if Braintree managed to pull off a victory tonight, and with home advantage, who knows what could happen?

7.07pmThey've got their work cut out, though. Ronnie Moore's Tranmere have been magnificent this season, well deserving of their place at the top of League One.

7.08pmRovers have been pretty darn impressive on the road, with with six wins, two draws and one defeat away from home during the current campaign. They saw off Oldham 1-0 last weekend to add to that tally.

7.10pmThis is the second time these sides have attempted to play this fixture with it being called off due to a waterlogged pitch two weekends ago. No sign of any flooding this time, so hopefully we've got a game of football on our hands.

7.12pmTranmere are without leading goalscorer Jake Cassidy tonight. He's on loan from Wolves, who have refused to grant him clearance to play.

7.14pmSome pre-match quotes from both managers coming up...

7.14pmRonnie Moore: "I don't know whether I'm looking forward to it. It's only on telly because they think there's going to be an upset.

"If we approach it like we always do, we should be alright, but there's no easy games.

"It's a good opportunity for us to show everybody why we're top of the league.

"We're on TV on Tuesday and Friday [against MK Dons in League One] so we've got two fantastic games coming up."


7.15pmAlan Devonshire: "There will be a couple of changes because you can't put effort in like we did on Saturday [in a 2-1 win over Gateshead] and not lose something.

"I was devastated when the initial game was called off. I'm so looking forward to it. So up for it.

"We'll be going into the game better prepared than then. Bring it on."


7.16pmThanks to BBC Sport for those quotes.

7.19pmTeam news incoming...

7.20pmTranmere Rovers: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Gibson, Bakayogo, Thompson, Wallace, Harrison, Robinson, Jervis, Stockton

7.20pmThree changes for Rovers from last weekend's win at Oldham. Andy Robinson, Danny Harrison and Cole Stockton replace Adam McGurk, Liam Palmer and Jake Cassidy.

7.21pmExpect Robinson to be a key man for the visitors tonight. The influential midfielder is a prolific goalscorer and the driving force behind the team.

7.25pmWe'll have the Braintree line-up for you as soon as it's in...

7.29pmBraintree Town: Naisbitt, Habergham, Paine, O'Connor, Wells, Quinton, Davis, Sparkes, Mulley, Marks, Holman

7.31pmNot too many familiar faces in that Braintree line-up. James Mulley will be a key player for them. The midfielder is only 24, but already has a wealth of experience, naming AFC Wimbledon among his former clubs.

7.32pmRight, it's prediction time. I can see this going only one way tonight. Tranmere have played well as a unit all season, and will be too much for the non-leaguers this evening. I'm going for 2-0 to the visitors.

7.35pmInterestingly, Braintree name two players with league experience among their subs. Josh Dawkin is a former Norwich man, and Ryan Peters started his career at Brentford.

7.39pmAnd of course, their boss Alan Devonshire is a former West Ham hero. He played for the Hammers in the 1970s and 80s, and has been managing non-league sides for more than a decade.

7.40pmI'm looking forward to seeing Braintree give a good account of themselves tonight. This will be like a cup final to them!

7.41pmThe teams are heading out onto the pitch now...

1 minThe referee gets the match under way.

1 minBraintree earn an early corner, but the ref spots a foul inside the box and stops play. Owain Fon Williams takes a free kick for Tranmere.

3 minsTaylor fouls Marks and Braintree earn a free kick. They press forward but are caught offside. A shaky start from the League One leaders.

4 minsSparkes shoots from long range. They ball takes a deflection off his own man and goes out for a Tranmere goal kick.

5 minsA good start from the hosts considering there are three division separating these teams. Not to mention the fact that Tranmere are currently clear at the top of their league.

7 minsQuinton swings in another Braintree corner. Marks gets his head on it but fails to trouble Fon Williams.

8 minsJames Wallace has a crack from long range and blazes it over the bar. I think the former Everton man was clipped by his marker there, causing his to scuff his shot.

11 minsHolman nutmegs Taylor and lets fly from well outside of the area, dragging his shot wide. If he had taken a touch there he could have created an opening.

12 minsHolman has actually taken a knock. There's blood running down the back of his head, but I think it looks a lot worse than it is. He is good to soldier on.

14 minsTranmere are having trouble settling into this game. Braintree have looked the more dangerous, though neither neither keeper has been tested.

17 minsChance! Harrison with a glaring miss from close range! Thompson played in a great ball after being picked out by Stockton. Harrison was yards out when the cross fell to him but he put it over. Rovers should be 1-0 up!

21 minsChance! Great chance for Braintree as Holman leaves his marker behind and curls one towards goal. Fon Williams was relieved to see that one go wide!

24 minsGOAL! Braintree Town 0-1 Tranmere Rovers (Joe Thompson)

24 minsThompson bundles the ball over the line after Naisbitt makes a superb save to deny Stockton. That should settle Rovers down!

29 minsBraintree respond positively as Sparkes wins a corner at the other end. They make a change while the ball is out of play. Mulley is replaced by Luke Daley.

30 minsDaley gets stuck right in, winning a second corner and then whipping in a cross towards Fon Willams's goal. The Welsh keeper makes the catch.

31 minsChance! Daley only has Fon Williams to beat and he shoots directly at the keeper! He didn't get enough power behind his shot and should have done better!

33 minsChance! Stockton shoots first time good work from Thompson down the right. Naisbitt pulls off a great save to deny him and Braintree clear the danger.

37 minsAsh Taylor produced a good block to deny Holman. Fon Williams would likely have dealt with that, but good defending nonetheless.

28 minsSubstitution for Braintree: Bailey-Dennis replaces Wells - a 6ft 5 window cleaner comes on for the hosts.

44 minsSubstitution for Tranmere: Jake Kirby replaces the goalscorer Thompson. It appears that Thompson has suffered a knock, though he didn't look like his was in any discomfort.

45 minsTwo minutes of injury time to be played.

HALF-TIMEBraintree Town 0-1 Tranmere Rovers

8.34pmSo there you have it, the League One leaders and clear favourites go into the break a goal to the good thanks to Joe Thompson.

8.34pmIt's been a close game. Braintree have created a few good chances, but their finishing has been poor. You will be punished for that against league opposition, as they've found out.

8.40pmBraintree's Holman has been a stand-out player tonight. I wouldn't be surprised if a league club snaps him up at some point.

8.42pmThe second half is just moments away, and we'll bring you all the action from that right here on Sports Mole.

45 minsThe second half is under way now.

47 minsQuinton hits one into the stand. That was never going to threaten the Tranmere goal.

48 minsStill, the hosts look up for this in the second half. The next goal will likely decide the contest. If it goes to Tranmere they will surely go on to win it.

48 minsStill, the hosts look up for this in the second half. The next goal will likely decide the contest. If it goes to Tranmere they will surely go on to win it.

53 minsGOAL! Braintree Town 0-2 Tranmere Rovers (Cole Stockton)

53 minsA good strike from the youngster there. Robinson played the ball to him and he turned his marker and shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box.

57 minsAsh Taylor is down injured. It looks like he will have to come off...

58 minsHe is being replaced by Ian Goodison, a veteran of the English game.

63 minsA Sparkes cross causes havoc in the Tranmere box. They had so many men back defending there and got it clear eventually.

65 minsThere was a nasty clash of heads between Goodison and Marks. Both are down injured. Let's hope they are okay...

66 minsBoth are on their feet now, but still receiving treatment from their respective physios.

67 minsMarks is coming off. A shame for Braintree, he was one of their better players. 18-year-old Sheppard comes on to replace him.

69 minsA piece of trivia for the fact fans out there - Goodison's substitute appearance tonight makes him Tranmere's oldest ever player at 39 years 359 days, taking the record from goalkeeper Eric Nixon!

74 minsShot! Harrison forces a save from Naisbitt with a 25 yard effort. A straightforward stop there.

78 minsTranmere sub: James Wallace makes way for Max Power. The Rovers skipper has put in a good shift, but Moore doesn't want to risk him picking up a booking and thus a suspension in the latter stages tonight.

80 minsAlmost an opening for Braintree as a woeful backpass from Goodison bounces off Fon Williams's shins. Sheppard wins the ball but can't keep hold of it.

85 minsBraintree whip another dangerous ball into the Tranmere area. Bakayogo clears.

87 minsKirby's cross whizzes across the face of goal. There's nobody there to connect with it, but Tranmere are surely home and dry here.

90 minsGOAL! Braintree Town 0-3 Tranmere Rovers (Max Power)

90 minsGreat work by Holmes on the right. He cut into the box, gave his marker the slip, and played the ball across goal. Power was in the right place at the right time to bag his first ever senior goal!

92 minsWe have a pitch invader - a small child. I think somebody is in for a grounding from their parents!

FULL-TIMEBraintree Town 0-3 Tranmere Rovers

9.38pmTranmere were worthy winners in the end, but Braintree hardly disgraced themselves. A good cup tie all round.

9.38pmRovers set up a home clash against Chesterfield in round two of the competition. That tie will take place on the weekend of December 1 and 2.

9.40pmThat's all from me tonight, many thanks for joining us!

Prenton Park
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