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Match Report


Posted Sun 16 Feb 03 at 11:30 AM


Brentford's poor runs of results away from continued with a 1-0 defeat at Bloomfield Road to a slick Blackpool side that looks destined to be involved in the play-off shake-up.

It will now be a matter of concern for manager Wally Downes that the lack of cutting edge up front may have cost The Bees a point. He gave Stephen Hughes his first League start as Stephen Evans failed to recover from an achilles injury sustained at Bristol City

Ex-Bee Paul Evans instigated the first Blackpool attack in the seventh minute, as Paul Smith was called into two fine saves from John Murphy and Keith Southern inside the penalty area.

Eleven minutes later, a storming 60-yard run down the right from Blackpool midfielder Martin Bullock caught Matt Somner and Stephen Hughes in two minds whether to take responsibility for the challenge. He was eventually disposed inside the area but Paul Smith pushed away Scot Taylor's shot.

Paul Evans was enjoying a good game in midfield, no doubt Brentford fans waited with baited breath as he stepped up to take a direct free-kick in the 26th minute. Ibrahima Sonko headed this away, but from the resulting corner, the in-form John Murphy struck home the opening goal from twelve yards out. Sixty seconds later, Mike Flynn's bullet header was palmed away by Smith.

Just past the half-hour mark, Brentford's best scoring chance epitomised their recent luck. Rowan Vine, having done all the hard work in linking up with Stephen Hunt, tamely shot at Phil Barnes in The Seasiders goal from just six yards out.

Brentford forced two early corners in the second half - their first of the game -but could make no dent in the Blackpool goal. With a little over half-an-hour left, Wally Downes replaced Stephen Hughes with striker Mark McCammon. Moments later, Stephen Hunt was uncharacteristically booked for diving in the Blackpool penalty area. With twenty-five minutes remaining, Blackpool blew a chance to wrap things up, as Scott Taylor outpaced Marshall but shot wide with only Smith to beat.

The Bees received a further let-off as Murphy stabbed home Taylor's pass, but the forward's goal was ruled offside, much to the fury of the home support. In the 78th minute Brentford's final chance arrived to level things up, but Phil Barnes leapt superbly to palm over Matt Somner's goalbound header from Dobson's corner.

Line-up: Smith (P), Dobson, Somner, Marshall, Sonko, Fullarton, Smith (J), Hughes (McCammon 59th minute), O'Connor, Vine and Hunt (Williams 86 minutes).

Subs unused: Hutchinson, Julian and Fieldwick,

Attendance: 6203 (314 Bees)

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