Brentford continued their hoodoo over Bristol City but have a resolute defence to thank for gaining what may turn out to be a valuable point at Ashton Gate. The back four, together with goalkeeper Paul Smith, had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them.
In a keenly contested fixture on a chilly night, City's attack bombarded the Brentford goal, raining in shots from all angles. A double substitution by Danny Wilson with fifteen minutes left nearly reaped dividends. In truth, The Bees were pegged back inside their own half for most of the second period.
Wally Downes kept faith with the Vine-Hunt partnership, the only change - Jay Smith - replacing the injured Martin Rowlands.
It was nearly curtains five minutes in, Craig Fagan pounced on an error by Sonko, but the City front man fired wide. The opening forty-five was minutes was a scrappy affair, City enjoying the better exchanges but not having the cutting edge to convert, The Bees however, did not sit back, but failed to carve out a real clear-cut opening.
Ibrahima Sonko and then Matt Somner came to Brentford's rescue during the half, both intercepting goalbound chances from firstly Peter Beadle and then Craig Fagan. Mid-way through the half, Brentford started to attack with more confidence, Sonko's long throws causing concern in the City penalty area. Michael Dobson had Brentford best effort, shrugging off the challenge of Bell to fire in a testing shot from 25 yards out.
Mark McCammon replaced the injured Stephen Evans at half-time, Stephen Hunt returning to his familiar left midfield berth. Scott Murray had two opportunities in as many minutes to put City in front moments after the break, the first of which cracked the bar from a spectacular overhead-kick. A measure of City's dominance can ascertained by the fact Brentford's only chance of the second period came in the 62nd minute, McCammon's run and shot forcing a corner.
City substitutes Christian Roberts and Lee Peacock turned up the screw, making life uncomfortable for Brentford's back-line. Hearts were in mouths on the stroke of full-time when Jay Smith miss-kicked a clearance into the path of Peacock, but he shot wide.
So Brentford's fine run against The Robins continues, with a valuable point to take home down the M4.
Line-up: Smith (P), Dobson, Somner, Marshall, Sonko, Evans (McCammon HT), Fullarton, Smith (J), O'Connor, Vine, Hunt.
Subs not used: Williams, Julian, Constantine and Hutchinson.