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Match Report


Posted Mon 30 Aug 04 at 17:20 PM


Brentford left Ashton Gate without a point with the match turning on City's controversial third goal. Brentford were looking to level things up after a spirited comeback but Sam Sodje's injury in the 69th minute went unnoticed by Referee Phil Joslin, City striker Luke Wilkshire taking full advantage to slot home.

Martin Allen made three changes to the side that defeated Stockport County. The midfield was drastically altered, with a central pairing of Chris Hargreaves and Sam Sodje - on his competitive Bees debut - combining with Matt Somner on the left-hand side and Kevin O'Connor on the right. City, stung by their three-nil loss to Port Vale at the weekend, made five changes.

After a quiet start for both sides, Luke Wilkshire carved out the game's first opportunity for City with ten minutes on the clock. Brentford were caught short at the back - Leroy Lita feeding the ball through to the Australian striker but his shot was wide of Nelson left-hand post. Brentford's first chance arrived eight minutes later. Michael Dobson's pin-point cross was met in the City area by Deon Burton, but his header was wide.

Thereafter, Brentford came under the cosh as the home side upped the tempo. Scott Murray's half-volley had looked certain to have given the home side the lead, Stuart Nelson coming to Brentford's rescue with an acrobatic leap to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. From the corner, Christian Roberts gained possession with Nelson caught in no man's land. he shot wide from an acute angle. With City having piled on the pressure, the inevitable opening goal arrived in the 25th minute, Wilkshire rifling home a shot from inside the Bees' penalty area to give City the lead.

Brentford struggled to create a decent opportunity before the break with Christian Roberts again guilty in front of goal for Bristol, City going into half-time with only a one-goal advantage.

Martin Allen decided a change was needed at the break with John Salako replacing Matt Somner on the left. This could have paid dividends with Brentford almost levelling the scores within moments of the second half starting. Deon Burton capitalised on a mix-up in the City defence, his forty yard lob narrowly missing an empty goal with City goalkeeper Steve Phillips hurriedly tracking back. The failure to score was punished as City doubled their lead in the 48th minute. Winger Scott Murray made no mistake from the edge of the area after he intercepted Michael Dobson's clearance from a previous City attack.

This signalled another change, with substitute Stewart Talbot beefing up a five-man midfield, Brentford leaving three at the back. With Brentford seemingly down and out, they fashioned a goal out of nothing in the 61st minute. Kevin O'Connor connected superbly with a left-wing cross from Deon Burton to head home and give The Bees hope.

The game then burst into life with flowing moves from both sides. With Brentford pushing Bristol all the way, the home side added a third in the 69th minute in controversial fashion. Sam Sodje had been lying on the turf injured after a challenge from Christian Roberts for what seemed an eternity but Referee Joslin let a City attack progress, and despite Brentford protests, Luke Wilkshire took advantage to score his second of the game.

Scott Murray then wrapped things up four minutes later with a fine individual finish to signal the end of Brentford's gallant fight. Wilskhire fluffed his chance of a hat-trick before the final whistle but a fifth City goal would have been an injustice.

Attendance: 10,296 (555 Bees).

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