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Match Report


Posted Wed 23 Feb 05 at 04:35 AM


Brentford's longest trip ended in defeat as Hartlepool triumphed 3-1 at Victoria Park. Isaiah Rankin had given them the lead just after the break but goals from Adam Boyd, Eifion Williams and Antony Sweeney gave the home side the points.

Brentford made four changes from the team that drew fantastically at Southampton last Saturday. Darren Pratley was handed his first league start 24 hours after signing on loan from Fulham, Stephen Hunt, Ben May and Matt Harrold also came into the team. Stewart Talbot, Jay Tabb, Andrew Frampton and Deon Burton were omitted. Tabb and Burton joined scholar Ryan Peters and the fit again Kevin O'Connor on the bench.

Hartlepool started brightly using the windy conditions to their advantage, Sweeney's fifth minute shot skidded off the bobbly surface forcing Stuart Nelson to turn it behind. Gavin Strachan's corner was taken by the wind and glanced off the cross bar and clear.

Brentford created a good chance of their own in the 13th minute, Michael Dobson's long throw was not properly cleared and Eddie Hutchinson picked the ball up on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot which Dimitrios Konstantopoulos saved low to his right. Hartlepool pushed forward well, most of their good play coming through top scorer Boyd, he shot over after Strachan had knocked a free kick to him and then forced Sam Sodje to deflect a shot wide, and he then fired straight at Nelson in the visitors' goal.

The closest he came was in the 31st minute, Brentford only half cleared and he picked the ball up on the edge of the area, cut inside and cracked a shot that flew inches wide. He later set up Sweeney who's low shot was saved at the near post. Towards the break the visitors pushed on, trying to use their wind advantage, John Brackstone curled a free kick over and Michael Nelson forced his namesake Stuart into a low save after Ben Clark had curled in an excellent cross.

The second half started quickly with two goals inside the first ten minutes. Brentford grabbed the first through Rankin in the 51st minute, after a mistake by Ritchie Humphreys. Hunt went on a weaving run which Humphreys did well to cover but as he attempted to knock the ball back to Konstantopoulos Rankin nipped in to score.

Hartlepool equalised three minutes later after Joel Porter won them a penalty after being challenged by Hutchinson and Pratley. Boyd took the penalty and sent Nelson the wrong way. They nearly took the lead in the 6 5th minute. Another good corner from Strachan found the head of Clark; his effort cannoned to safety off the outside of the post.

They did take the lead with a quarter of an hour to play, Boyd skipped to the by-line and his pull back was lashed home by Williams.They made it 3-1 with three minutes to go through Sweeny. Porter broke through the midfield and his ball found Sweeny clear with only Nelson to beat, he made no mistake and Brentford's unbeaten run was at an end.

Brentford: Nelson; Dobson, Turner, Sodje, Salako; Pratley (sub Tabb 66 mins), Hutchinson, Harrold (sub Peters 76 mins); Rankin, Hunt; May (sub Burton 58 mins).

Subs (not used): O'Connor, Bankole.

Attendance: 4,026 (94 Bees).

Written by Chris Wickham

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