Football: City continue to struggle

Manchester City 1 Tranmere Rovers 1
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The Independent Online
Manchester City's disgruntled fans last night served notice to Frank Clark that his honeymoon period as manager is over after Tranmere hit back to prolong City's winless start to the Nationwide First Division season.

Clark's side were booed off by a 26,336 crowd after Lee Jones equalised Kevin Horlock's opener, and the City boss, who was lauded by the fans for bringing stability to the club after last season's managerial changes, came under fire himself when he opted to substitute the German striker Uwe Rosler 12 minutes from time. The German, who had also been substituted in the 3-1 defeat at Sunderland, responded by kicking over a water bucket near the City dugout and throwing down a water bottle.

Even the staunchest of City followers would have to admit that Tranmere were worth a point after dominating the first half. They should have gone ahead when Lee Jones got around the back of City's defence and squared the ball invitingly, but Gary Jones lost control with the goal gaping.

Rovers thought they had taken the lead when David Kelly headed home from Morrissey's cross, but the effort to be ruled out for offside against Gary Jones.

But 12 seconds into the second half Horlock met LeeBradbury's square pass to hammer an unstoppable left-foot shot from 25 yards into the top corner. Rosler should have made it two within two minutes but volleyed over from four yards.

Rovers equalised in the 61st minute when Kelly turned Kit Symons to drive over a cross for Lee Jones to score from six yards.

Manchester City: Margetson; Brightwell, Vaughan, Wiekens, Symons, Beesley, Brannan, Horlock, Bradbury, Kinkladze, Rosler (Summerbee, 78). Substitutes not used: McGoldrick, Van Blerk.

Tranmere Rovers: Coyne; Stevens, Thompson, McGreal, Thorn, O'Brien, Morrissey (Irons, 84), Cook, Kelly, G Jones, L Jones (Branch, 87). Substitute not used: Aldridge.

Referee: M J Brandwood (Lichfield).