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Match Report

 

Posted Sun 24 Nov 02 at 11:18 AM

BRENTFORD 0 WIGAN ATHLETIC 1

It was lucky 13 for the League leaders this afternoon as they recorded their thirteenth consecutive undefeated League game, with the slimmest of victories over a very competitive Brentford side. The only goal came with just five seconds left of the two additional minutes awarded by "Premiership" referee G Barber at the end of the first half. Nathan Ellington attempted to thread a ball through for Peter Kennedy but it was intercepted by the hard running Kevin O`Connor at full stretch. Unfortunately the ball flew directly into the path of Neil Roberts who wasted no time whatsoever in firing the ball into the net. The game which was a credit to both sides, and the Division, amazingly saw five bookings in the space of the opening 25 minutes (and six in total) which was an absolute travesty and no doubt had en effect on those who were unlucky enough to have incurred the referee's misguided wrath. The Bees for all their endeavour failed to muster one corner in the opening half, while the Latic`s gained three. But that did not reflect the state of play which was level pegging at the break, albeit the goal showed otherwise. The second half was "classic" Brentford as the game wore on and the Bees fans warmed to the "never say die" attitude of each and every one of the players. They lifted the players to six second half corners as they swarmed forward at every opportunity. It was good honest play against the seemingly more experienced play of their visitors. But both sides displayed cultured football in what were heavy trying conditions, although the pitch held up well thus full credit to the Bees groundsman. The earlier booking of Stephen Evans pre-empted the introduction of Martin Rowlands in the fifty-second minute and the same player saw his shot flash wide of the upright eight minutes later. This heralded a series of corners as the Bees blitzed Wigan`s rearguard. In the 72nd minute the same player initiated an excellent move and was there at the end, having played a 1-2 with Rowan Vine, to almost bring the score back to level pegging. Three minutes prior to that Jay Tabb had become the Bees second sub replacing the hard working Jay Smith. Fifteen minutes into the second period Ellington received treatment on the pitch which lasted three and a half minutes, which must have been seen by referee Barber as "The Twilight Zone". For when the fourth official displayed the additional time to be added on the completion of ninety minutes, which had included four substitutions, he brought gasps of amazement as the figure 2 illuminated the darkness! The Bees made one final change in the 85th minute with Mark Williams coming on for yet another tireless worker Kevin O`Connor. But when the final whistle was blown, albeit early, Brentford`s players and supporters alike can justifiably feel that they gave a very good account of themselves against their big spending opponents.  

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