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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Mar 05 at 21:45 PM


A brave performance gives Brentford a deserved point in Yorkshire. Martin Allen made two single changes to the team which won at Colchester last week, John Salako replacing Darren Pratley, the young loan midfield maestro taking a place on the subs bench, and Isaiah Rankin coming in for Stephen Hunt. There was also a position change with Andrew Frampton moving into midfield and Salako starting at left back.

The game started in a very lively fashion and Brentford thought they had taken the lead in the fourth minute. Helped by a strong following wind a kick from Stuart Nelson bounced past Andy Warrington in the Rovers goal who was under pressure from Deon Burton, but referee Graham Sainsbury - a late replacement for Russell Booth - deemed Burton to be fouling the goalkeeper and disallowed the goal.

Rankin fired over from the edge of the area and Sam Sodje flicked a header past the far post via a defender's head. Burton was looking likely to provide a Brentford goal, volleying narrowly over from 35 yards and then forcing Warrington to save as he shot from the edge of the area. He was also tackle inside the area on a few occasions as Nelson's long kicks caused problems for the home defence.

Doncaster had a good spell themselves in the middle of the half, Neil Roberts shot over the bar from a yard out after James Coppinger had skipped past John Salako. Michael McIndoe forced Nelson into a low save and Sodje was in the right place to clear off the line as Roberts turned McIndoe's shot towards goal.

Brentford put the home side under increasing pressure as half time approached. A Stewart Talbot free kick found Burton at the far post, his shot was blocked on the line and the re-bound from Eddie Hutchinson was also blocked inside the area.

Rankin had a goal ruled out for offside as he rounded Warrington and knocked the ball into an empty goal and Salako curled a free kick over the bar but Brentford's best chance of the half fell to Jay Tabb with just minutes to go before the break. Rankin dispossessed Tim Ryan in a dangerous area and slipped the ball through to Tabb, he beat Warrington but the ball flew past the far post.

The visitors started the second half like they ended the first, on the attack. Warrington produced a fantastic save to deny Burton after Frampton's header had found him in space ten yards from goal.

It was the home side who had the better of the second period, Ryan shot wide from the edge of the area, McIndoe shot into the side netting at the near post and Coppinger had an effort easily saved by Nelson. The Bees keeper had to be at his best in the 60th minute to deny John Doolan who fired in a shot from 25 yards that was arrowing into the top corner.

Brentford had a good claim for a penalty in the 59th minute. Sodje beat Warrington to a long free kick and as he prepared to head into an unguarded net he appeared to be bundled out of the way, but the referee waved play on.

Both sides pushed forward looking for the winner, but it was the visitors who had the better chances. Substitute Pratley curled in a corner that Warrington palmed away under his crossbar and Rankin fired in a shot from the edge of the area that was easily saved. Neither team could find a breakthrough and the game finished goalless.

Line-up: Nelson; O'Connor, Turner, Sodje, Salako; Hutchinson, Talbot, Frampton (sub Pratley 64 mins); Rankin, Tabb (sub Hunt 75 mins); Burton (sub Dobson 89 mins)

Subs (not used): Fitzgerald, Bankole.

Written by Chris Wickham.

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