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Match Report


Posted Tue 02 Sep 03 at 09:50 AM


Brentford threw the kitchen sink at Wrexham on Saturday but failed to come away from The Racecourse Ground with a point.

In a game that contained an amazing twenty-three corners, only the brilliance of veteran goalkeeper Andy Dibble denied Brentford a share of the spoils.

Wally Downes selected a 4-5-1 formation with Tony Rougier the lone striker, and for nearly twenty minutes this worked, forcing Wrexham onto the back foot.

Four minutes in, Tony Rougier's pass released Stephen Hughes on the left wing. The teenager delivered a testing cross that Kevin O'Connor flung himself at but could not connect. Two minutes later, Rougier's pace and strength saw him burrow down the left but Wrexham's centre-back Shaun Pejic intervened with the former Reading man shaping up to shoot.

A further Brentford incursion into Wrexham territory was nearly rewarded with a goal in the ninth minute. Following neat play from Rougier, Andy Dibble was beaten by Hutchinson's grass cutter from twenty-five yards out, happily for the veteran custodian the ball drifted wide.

Brentford's good start was brought to a shuddering halt in the eighteenth minute. With Wrexham temporarily reduced to ten men due to Brian Carey's head injury, the home side took the lead with their first attack. From a Darrren Ferguson corner, Wrexham's giant centre-back Dennis Lawrence headed past Smith without a Brentford player in sight.

The goal knocked the stuffing out of The Bees, and they could have fallen further behind on the half-hour mark. Another Darren Ferguson corner led to Carey's diving header that hit the top of the crossbar with Smith beaten. As the half-time whistle sounded, Wrexham had forced nine corners to Brentford's three.

In the fifty-second minute, Stephen Hughes found himself with just Dibble to beat but his first touch was found wanting, allowing Wrexham's Carlos Edwards to clear. Brentford's claims for a penalty were controversially waived away ten minutes after the break. Stephen Evans' neat pass to Tony Rougier, who was clearly held back by Pejic, but Referee Leake took no action Kevin O'Connor's set-piece was cleared only as far as Stephen Hughes, who flicked the ball up and crashed in a thirty-yard volley that fizzed just wide.

In the seventy-ninth minute, Hector Sam was guilty of poor finishing as Wrexham made a rare counter attack with Brentford's defence stretched. His shot was saved with just Smith to beat. Andy Dibble again foiled Rougier with a splendid stop from a direct free-kick. With substitutes Mark Peters and Lloyd Blackman now on the field, Brentford had now a bank of five attackers upfront.

With gaps inevitably appearing in The Bees defence, Paul Smith made a fine save from Mark Jones twenty-yard shot. Wrexham, however, held out to record a fortunate victory.

Positives for Brentford were the oustanding performances of Tony Rougier and Stephen Hughes.

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