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Match Report


Posted Sat 04 Sep 04 at 17:54 PM


Goals from Stewart Talbot and Isaiah Rankin were enough to despatch AFC Bournemouth at Griffin Park. In a baking hot arena The Bees played some scorching football only lacking the killer final touch. This display was the perfect way to celebrate 100 years in occupancy at Griffin Park.

As early as the 3rd minute Brentford went close when skipper Stuart Talbot played to Isaiah Rankin and his centre for John Salako was cleared for the first of 12 Brentford corners. Then a long ball from out of defence picked out Chris Hargreaves who played on to Stephen Hunt. But his centre was picked up by the visiting keeper just ahead of Rankin.

A Salako free kick in the 6th minute was headed over by home debutant Sam Sodje.

Play continued in a similar vein with the only relief for Bournemouth being a break by leading scorer James Hayter who having beaten two defenders shot high over the bar. On the half hour mark Hunt broke free and played on to Rankin who ran on before cutting inside and unleashing a shot which flew wide of the left hand post.

Two minutes on and The Bees got the goal their pressure deserved. Andy Frampton played the ball long and high towards the edge of the visitor's area. Rankin took control and in little or no room wrong footed two defenders before laying the perfect ball into the path of Stewart Talbot who saw his shot from the edge of the area deflected wide of the keeper by Brian Stock.

Stewart Talbot

The Bees now ramped up the pressure with O'Connor finding space narrowly missing the post. Salako again showed his skill finding space only for the goalkeeper to force the ball narrowly above the bar. The half came to a close with a series of Brentford corners.

The Bees started the second half as they finished the first and within two minutes they had extended their lead when a free kick from Salako wide on the right, following tireless running by Kevin O`Connor, was headed on by the former Republic of Ireland Under 21 internationals for Rankin to head home low down just inside the right hand post.

But two minutes on and the visitors were back in it when following a free kick from Stock the ball was cleared out to Neil Young whose return centre found Derek Holmes clear of the defence to head wide of Nelson.

The wake up call was exactly what The Bees required. O`Connor firing straight at the goalkeeper and Salako attempting an audacious chip to the top far corner from the wing. A sense of urgency filtered through the team with Scott Fitzgerald now striking the cross bar following a 57th minute free kick.

O`Connor again unluckily just missed a header as he was eased off the ball in the six yard box. It was Rankin's turn now and he fired in a scorcher from outside the box that was superbly saved by Moss. The pressure began to tell on Bournemouth with wave after wave of attacks on the goal. Stephen Hunt had a penalty appeal turned down in the 62nd minute while three minutes later The Cherries were reduced to ten men after a wild lunge by Neil Young on Hunt.

The Bees were now displaying football of the highest quality and although, as is to be expected with a tenuous one goal lead, there were a few anxious moments in the closing stages, it was in truth a very one sided affair.

Line-up: Nelson, Talbot, Fitzgerald, Rankin, Hunt (sub Rhodes 70 mins), Hargreaves, Frampton, O'Connor, Sodje, Salako, Turner.

Subs not used: Myers, Harrold, Julian, Smith.

Written by Christopher Gibbs.

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