Brentford and Notts County played out a totally uninspiring 1-1 draw at a crisp Griffin Park
on Saturday. But in the same way as the Bees conceded a goal seconds before the half time whistle, they came very close to conceding the winner with almost the dying touch of the full ninety minutes.
Fortunately Mark Stallard, just five yards out, somehow failed to find the target from Danny Allsopp`s centre and the referee brought proceedings to a halt.
The Bees had gone into the match without the suspended midfield duo of Fullarton and Evans. Mark Williams thus held his place from mid week while Rowan Vine's return after a one-match absence, allowed Kevin O`Connor to revert to midfield.
The Bees forced a first minute corner but it was County who went close early on, in the fourth minute to be precise, when a cross shot from Allsopp was easily saved by Paul Smith. In the ninth minute Mark McCammon played the ball through for Stephen Hunt in the area. He and O`Connor twisted and turned in trying to make space, before Hunt turned on the spot and saw his goalbound shot saved by Steve Mildenhall. Two minutes on and Paul Smith uncharacteristically failed to hold a cross and Stallard struck the ball high over the bar.
In the 19th minute a free kick was drilled in by Mark Williams with the keeper just managing to take the ball off the head of Ibu Sonko. Midway through the half a speculative effort from Rowan Vine wide on the left was taken by the keeper just short of the line. Four minutes on and Willo took the ball down the line before crossing whereupon Vine saw his shot blocked for a corner. County who looked even less likely to score than the Bees forced a corner before Stephen Hunt went on a fine run which resulted in a cross which was cleared just ahead of Vine.
With five minutes of the half remaining Simon Ramsden became the second visiting player to receive a yellow card (Duncan Jupp being the other). A minute later good interplay between Hunt and Vine, ended when the latter tried his luck from an acute angle which smashed against the foot of the near left hand post. Then Mark McCammon received from Jay Smith, but having made room shot straight at the keeper. But then with the 4th Official waiting to show one extra minute to be played, a ball from the right flank winged it's way into the box and with Nicky Fenton using Scott Marshall`s back to give him better leverage, he headed the ball beyond the reach of Paul Smith into the far right hand corner of the net.
With the Bees now playing towards their own fans, hopes were high that they could stage the desired comeback. Five minutes in, a flowing move involving O`Connor, McCammon and Hunt ended when the latter's shot was driven narrowly over the bar. A minute later it was celebration time.
Mark McCammon took control of the ball and played it out wide right for Williams. His resultant lofted centre deceived the keeper, and as it dipped over his outstretched arms both Rowan Vine and Fenton contested the ball. Vine just inside the far post determinedly stuck out his foot and the ball eventually nestled in the back of the net.
The Bees looked to use this as a launchpad for a continual barrage on the visiting defence. But it never really materialised, save for the occasional break, the most promising of which saw three Bees converge on Steve Mildenhall in the County goal. However Stephen Hunt pushed the ball too far and the keeper was able to snuff out the danger. As it happened it was County who stepped it up and forced five more corners without reply. The Bees made two substitutions with Rob Traynor replacing Williams in the 77th minute and Mark Peters coming on for McCammon eight minutes later. But no more goals were scored and thus both teams got what they deserved, something short of the full three points.
Team: P Smith, Dobson, Sonko, Marshall, Frampton, O`Connor, Williams (Traynor 77), J Smith, Hunt, McCammon (Peters 85), Vine.
Subs not used: Julian, Roget & Hughes.
Scorer: Vine 51