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Match Report


Posted Tue 12 Mar 02 at 23:18 PM


It was one of those games when you felt that whatever the Bees were going to try would never quite come off. Chesterfield had earned themselves a reputation following their goalless draw against QPR at the weekend. But whilst it was obvious from the start that their vowed intention was to leave Griffin Park with at least a point, in fairness they came close to making it three on more than one occasion.

Brentford, try as they may (and a total of twelve corners was testament to the number of times they tried), couldn't penetrate a rearguard that was well marshalled by the large frame of Steve Blatherwick in the heart of their defence. And whilst Nathan Abbey in the Spireites goal saw plenty of the ball, he was rarely severely tested.

Skipper Paul Evans has certainly refound his range and power, but all too often the ball would veer directly into the waiting arms of Abbey.

The Bees cause wasn't helped early on when Darren Powell fell to the ground after an innocuous challenge and had to be carried off. That was in the 16th minute and he was replaced by Kevin O`Connor. This meant a reshuffle with Rowlands moving to the left flank and Paul Gibbs, in as a replacement for the suspended Stephen Hunt switching to left back, as Ijah Anderson took over Powelly`s central defensive role.

The Bees had started in confident fashion and a superb centre powerfully struck by Anderson in the second minute from wide on the left, beat the keeper and was hastily deflected for a corner. Play continued in much the same vein until the tenth minute when Powell had to clear off his own line following a rare early foray by the visitors.

Three minutes later, Paul Evans did well to cut out a clearance at full stretch. But his pass to Gibbo and the resultant ball in to the area just eluded Ben Burgess.

Then came the substitution.

Midway through the half, following a period during which the Bees had to regroup, a brilliant first time centre from Michael Dobson went winging into the area. But with the keeper out of position, the ball was cleared just short of Burgess.

Two minutes later and a quick free kick from Steve Sidwell to Gibbs was played on to Rowlands. But his powerful shot could only find the side netting. Almost immediately another fine centre from Dobbo was frittered away with no Bee in place to capitalise.

In the 28th minute Dobbo played the ball down the line to Lloyd Owusu who made good ground before whipping over a centre. Big Ben was able to knock it down whereupon Rowlands smashed the ball over the bar a speed.

With ten minutes remaining of the first half Jamie Burt looked to have gone clear in the box. But Ivar Ingimarsson, as we have come to expect, took the ball off his foot with the greatest of ease.

Six minutes before the break an Evans free kick ended up in the arms of Abbey. The visitors responded with Innes` centre from the left being met by a powerful header from O`Hare which flew, for Chesterfield at least, the wrong side of the bar.

The second half started with another Evans free kick being collected by Abbey, and from the clearance a surging run from Burt led to the visitor's 3rd and last corner of the game.

Just five minutes of the second half had elapsed when Rowlands, well placed in the area, fired powerfully over. The play was flowing from end to end at this juncture and Paul Smith had to be on his toes in the 51st minute in cutting out a dangerous centre.

Another free kick from Evo in the 55th minute followed a similar path as those that had gone before.

On the hour mark Chesterfield had two players booked in quick succession, the game's only yellow cards.

Two minutes later and the Bees came as close as they would all night when from another Paul Evans free kick, Big Ben got up to head the ball back goalwards, but the woodwork got in the way.

With 21 minutes remaining Blatherwick progressed into the home area only to see his header fly wide of the mark.

Four minutes later and Ben in typical style, calmly took the ball under control, turned on the spot and shot, only to see Abbey save the ball on the line.

Ten minutes remaining, and an error by Ijah, who that apart had had an excellent evening in an unfamiliar role, gave Chesterfield half a chance. But Smith was quickly there to gather.

The remaining minutes of the game were spent with the Bees almost camped in their visitor's half being willed on by an ever increasingly agitated crowd. But when referee Paul Alcock blew the whistle after three minutes of added time, the Bees had forfeited two points. But no doubt we can all remember not so long ago that many a Bees team would have lost all three points on such a night.

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