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Match Report


Posted Sat 02 Nov 02 at 20:27 PM


The Bees registered their biggest win of the season against one of the better footballing sides to visit Griffin Park this year, and did it with style and panache. Far too often the Bees have had the opportunity to kill off the opposition but have been made to rue their luck.

But today in the 32nd minute, albeit against the run of play, they took the lead and never looked back. Wally Downes had made one change to the side with Eddie Hutchinson carrying an injury from midweek. He reintroduced Ibu Sonko - back from International duty - into the centre of the defence, and thus moved Stephen Evans into midfield. The early play featured the visitors` livewire winger, Martin Bullock. He caused the Bees a few problems and it was from his seventh minute shot that Paul Smith had to react quickly and pull out a fine save.

The same player earned Blackpool the games first, and second corner, a minute later. Smith made another save in the ninth following a defensive lapse as Scott Taylor just failed to capitalise.

In the tenth minute, a centre drilled in by Rowan Vine was just too high for Hunt who came running in from nowhere. Four minutes later, Mark McCammon twice rode his luck and in doing so made good ground. But his resultant shot earned for Brentford their first corner.

The game was flowing from end to end, and Stephen Hunt showed his defensive qualities to good effect in the sixteenth minute when he broke up a Blackpool breakaway. The Bees went very close in the 22nd minute when from their third corner, Michael Dobson`s header was goalbound but saved on the line by the keeper. In the 29th minute Paul Dalglish fired in a fine effort which Smith did well to save.

Two minutes later and a powerful strike by Evertonian loanee Keith Southern from 20 yards out brought out the best in Paul Smith as he turned it away from goal. But within the minute the Bees had broken the deadlock. The tireless running of Kevin O`Connor saw him play the ball to Hunt in the area. Hunt put in a first time shot, which was parried by the keeper. But Rowan Vine was there to fire the ball home inside the near post for his seventh goal of the season.

Five minutes later and a terrific move started and finished by Stephen Evans doubled the lead for the Bees. Evans initially lost possession of the ball, but did well to gather again. Having done so he played on to Vine who played wide to McCammon. The Bees big striker ran on and centred first time for Evans to complete his run and fire the ball into the back of the net. A quality move.

The Bees were now firing on all cylinders. McCammon and Jamie Fullarton combined well to set up Vine who pulled it back before shooting just wide. Peter Clarke received a yellow card when grabbing hold of McCammon on the half way line as the Bees set to run free. Seconds before the break, Dobbo went close again from the Bees sixth corner. The second half started with Blackpool forcing a number of corners.

But then in the 51st minute, Vine turned his man on the edge of the area and the ball found it's way to O`Connor via Hunt, who pushed it narrowly wide of the target. Two minutes later, and Vine again received from O`Connor, shuffled his feet and sent in a left footed effort which flew just wide of the post. Sixty seconds on with the crowd baying for more, a great header by Fullarton set Hunt away. But having made the break he sent his shot straight at the keeper.

Then on the hour mark, Ibu Sonko heralded his return with his first home League goal. Hunt fired in the Bees seventh corner long beyond the far post whereupon Scott Marshall headed it back to Ibu who fired it home inside the near post. Blackpool made a substitution in the 65th minute bringing on Walker for Taylor and four minutes later, Southern again tested Paul Smith, but again had to marvel at the quality of the save.

In the remaining time the Bees brought on all three subs, Mark Williams for Vine (73), Constantine for McCammon (80) and Frampton for Hunt (82).

But if anyone thought the Bees were just playing out time they were misinformed. In the 86th minute, the Bees won a free kick wide to the left and Dobbo sent it into the area, whereupon Sonko was there to fire the ball into the back of the net.

And then within the time added on the Bees went nap when from their ninth corner the ball was played out to Evans who thrashed the ball home from twenty five yards out. A stunning shot to cap a stunning victory.

Bees: P Smith, Dobson, Marshall, Sonko, Somner, O`Connor, Evans, Fullarton, Hunt (Frampton 82), McCammon (Constantine 80), Vine (Williams 73).

Subs not used: Julian & Rowlands.

Attendance: 5,888

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