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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 19 Jan 02 at 19:04 PM

BRENTFORD 0 WIGAN ATHLETIC 1

In the Bees first home match of the New Year, they conceded their unbeaten home record to Wigan Athletic who thus extended their unbeaten run to twelve matches. But for 78 minutes it looked as if a draw would be the obvious outcome for two sides with envious records to protect.

Indeed given the Bees second half performance it would have been no great surprise had the Lancashire side gone home pointless. But a long clearance from keeper Filan following the breakdown of a Bees attack, saw the ball bounce unkindly for the Bees defence and Alan Lidell was there, in the area, to clip the ball over both Ivar Ingimarsson and Oli Gottskalksson and into the back of the net, for his 10th League goal of the season and his 4th goal in two games.

The Bees started the match with the same side that started the previous match at Port Vale, and indeed ended the game with the same eleven.

In the second minute Ijah Anderson, making his 200th appearance for the Bees, slipped the ball short to Ben Burgess who in turn centred for Lloyd Owusu, himself making his 150th outing for Brentford. But the Bees striker saw his snap header fly wide from 15 yards.

Two minutes later the Bees played well out of defence through Anderson. He laid the ball down the line to Stephen Hunt who beat three players as he homed in on the visitors area before centring from the bye line.

In the 21st minute, another fine break by the Bees saw Kevin O`Connor bravely head on for Gavin Mahon on the half way line. He made his way forward and played on to Owusu who shot early, and wide.

Two minutes later Wigan, who themselves had contributed in no small part to an entertaining opening spell, had a chance when Gary Teale broke through and earned a foul off of Mahon. But the free kick came to nothing.

A minute later, Michael Dobson in clearing a Wigan attack headed the ball wide of his own keeper and fortunately the far right hand post.

With eleven minutes remaining of the first half, Steve McMillan sent in a centre which found it's way to Liddell who blasted high and wide from eight yards out.
In the 41st minute, Owusu played on to Burgess who in turn played the ball out wide to Hunt. The young Irish striker beat his marker and centred to Owusu who saw his first touch blocked by the keeper.

But come the half time whistle, the play had been fairly even, even given the fact that Wigan had forced six corners without reply.

The Bees went forward straight from the kick off. But just two minutes in, a chipped effort from Scott Green was taken by Oli Gott on the line.

A terrific defensive tackle by Mahon a minute later was followed by an excellent ball down the line by the same player for Burgess. Big Ben chested it down and centred whereupon Paul Evans, who had made good ground, couldn`t quite make enough, and eventually Hunt fired over.

In the 50th minute, Steve McMillan scuffed the ball over the bar from Hunt's centre and thus the Bees won their first of 5 corners. From the corner Owusu should have done better at the far post before Burgess saw his first effort blocked on the line before blasting over the rebound.

Another corner followed following Hunt's perseverance down the left flank and from it the ball pinballed around in the area. The Bees were certainly presurrising the visitors' goal in front of the bank of Bees fans in the Brook Road stand.

Liddell went close for Wigan in the 56th minute and was only denied by Oli`s save. Then two minutes later a Paul Evans free kick narrowly missed the far right angle of bar and post.

In the 70th minute Owusu saw his shot blocked following a free kick. The ball was then chipped through to Hunt who saw his first attempt cleared by McMillan and his second fly over the bar.

Two minutes later a terrific move saw Burgess play on to Owusu who back heeled the ball into the path of Hunt who ran on before turning his man and centring. There again was Evans who airborne, saw his header fly inches wide of the mark.

Six minutes later came the all important, and deciding, goal.

The Bees fought valiantly and forced two corners in their search for a leveller. They came close when a powerfully struck grass cutter from Evo from fully thirty yards out veered just wide of the left hand post. Two minutes into time added on, O`Connor saw his header flash over the bar as had a similar header from Darren Powell five minutes earlier.

But the final whistle came and with it went the full three points to Wigan, although in truth the Bees had edged it.

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