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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 22 Sep 03 at 15:56 PM

BRENTFORD 2 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1

Brentford secured their seventh point out of a possible nine with a deserved victory over high-flying Hartlepool.

With Tommy Wright in the starting line-up and loan signing Joel Kitamirike making his debut in the centre of defence, The Bees started much the brighter. Tony Rougier's mazy thirty-yard run in the fourth minute ended with his shot going just wide.

Eleven minutes in, Stephen Hunt's short pass into the path of Ben May gave the Millwall loanee a chance, but his shot was deflected for a corner, from which Brentford gained a deserved lead.

Michael Dobson's corner was met by the towering figure of Ibrahima Sonko, who headed home superbly past 'Pool keeper Jim Provett.

Stephen Hunt should have doubled The Bees lead in the thirty-sixth minute, but he blazed over the bar with the goal gaping. And Brentford rued that miss as Hartlepool equalised three minutes before half-time.

From a free-kick awarded for a foul by Tommy Wright on Chris Westwood, Marco Gabbiadini's effort hit the bar and bounced kindly for Mark Tinkler, who stroked home from six yards.

Hartlepool barely drew breath from the half-time break before Brentford re-gained the lead with a classic goal.

Stephen Hunt left 'Pool right-back Michael Barron for dead before delivering a perfect cross from the left-hand side for Tommy Wright, whose header powered past Provett.

On the hour mark, Hunt again was the centre of attention, as he was brought down on the edge of penalty area. Tony Rougier's subsequent free-kick went narrowly over.

In the 68th minute, Tommy Wright was forced to leave the field after an nasty injury sustained from defending a throw-in from Michael Nelson. As a result, The Bees were down to ten-men for nine long minutes - Wright returned with a cut that needed five stitches above his eye.

Stephen Hunt should have wrapped things up six minutes from time after a further piece of Rougier trickery, but his low drive hit goalkeeper Provett's legs. The Bees were nearly made to pay for that dearly as twenty seconds later, Hartlepool striker Marco Gabbiadini weaved his way into the Brentford box but Paul Smith saved his shot.

The best Hartlepool could muster thereafter was Ryan McCann's header - saved by Smith so The Bees move up to eighteenth place in the table.

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