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Match Report


Posted Sun 28 Sep 03 at 11:57 AM


Bitter-sweet for Brentford as a wonder goal from Stephen Hunt - with Tommy Wright's winner - is dampened by the latter's dismissal for celebrating his strike. Wright, booked in the first half for a foul, was shown the red card after leaving the field of play to celebrate his winner with the Brentford travelling support.

It was a deserved victory for The Bees', who at one point looked to have thrown away three points when Ibrahima Sonko's handball gave Chesterfield a unexpected lifeline.

Wally Downes' kept faith with the side that defeated Hartlepool but nearly fell behind after two minutes.

Chesterfield's on-loan striker Jamie Cade's powerful shot cannoned off Paul Smith's knees for a corner. Moments later, Smith repeated the trick to foil Steve Payne's goal-bound header. Brentford weathered the storm and began to cause problems for the home side; stout defending foiled Stephen Hunt's scheming in the Spirerites' penalty area, as the Irishman looked destined to give The Bees an advantage after ten minutes.

Eighteen minutes in, Spirerites' right-back Gus Uhlenbeek caught Paul Smith by surprise with a smart drive after he out-paced Matt Somner, but The Bees 'keeper stooped low to save. Ibrahima Sonko's relief was evident mid-way through the first-half after Chesterfield failed to take advantage of The Bees' centre-back's "air-shot" clearance - Chris Brandon guilty of poor finishing. Brentford grew stronger as the half wore on, the combination of Stephen Hunt and Tommy Wright giving the Chesterfield back-line cause for concern.

Tony Rougier's thirty-yard run in the 53rd minute took the Trinidad International into the Chesterfield penalty area but his shot was weak. The home side fought their way back -Jamie Cade's shot in the 57th minute was cleared to safety by Hunt when the striker seemed destined to score.

A goal worthy of a Cup final winner arrived in the sixty-third minute. Stephen Hunt ran from the half-way line, skipped past four Chesterfield players to deliver an unbelievable strike from thirty yards that flew into the top right-hand corner of the net past a stranded Muggleton. Hunt milked the applause from both sets of supporters and rightly so.

A moment of madness from Ibrahima Sonko in the 74th minute gave the home side an opportunity that they gratefully received. Sonko's blatant handball from Allott's free-kick in his own area gave Referee Hegley no choice but to award a penalty-kick. Steve Payne's first and second efforts were disallowed. At the third attempt, Payne sent Smith the wrong way.

If Chesterfield's equaliser was a talking point, then Brentford's second was even more so. With ten minutes left of normal time, Tony Rougier supplied a perfect cross for Tommy Wright to head home, but the teenage striker was promptly sent-off for a second bookable offence as he left the field of play to celebrate his goal with the Brentford fans.

Robinson spurned a gilt-edge chance for Chesterfield on the stroke of full-time as Brentford collected all three points.

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