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Match Report


Posted Fri 10 Jan 03 at 14:53 PM


It was honours even again between the two sides yet again, as Kevin O'Connor cancelled out the shock opener by Marc Bircham.

Wally Downes made one change from the team that overcame Chesterfield, Jamie Fullarton replacing Jay Smith in the heart of defence.

The Bees started much the better team, putting on earlier pressure and forcing five corners in the first 18 minutes. The last of those however, was a poorly executed, and this allowed Nick Culkin to release a quick long kick that fed Lee Cook. The Rangers wide-man whipped over a cross that Marc Bircham headed past Paul Smith to stun the 3,000 travelling faithful.

It was a goal completely against the run of play, but The Bees manfully stuck to their task, as were rewarded with an equaliser twelve minutes later. Stephen Hunt (who had an excellent opening 45 minutes) crossed the ball into the Rangers box. Kevin O'Connor was on hand to stab home. A messy goal, but they all count.

Paul Smith was on hand to defy QPR twice within a minute shortly before the break, thwarting Richard Langley and Clark Carlisle respectively.

When Martin Rowland's run and shot went narrowly over in the 48th minute, it seemed The Bees would pick off from where they left off, but Rangers fought their way back into the match, after 54 minutes, Smith again coming to Brentford's rescue, superbly tipping over Gallen's bullet header.

Mark McCammon replaced Stephen Evans with fifteen minutes left, and he was booked before even touching the ball, for a foul. Two other Bees, Marshall and Fullarton were also cautioned during the 90 minutes. By this time both sides had slowed the tempo down, and it was no surprise when Referee Messias blew with the scores level.

Attendance: 15,559.

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