A Lloyd Owusu goal moments before half time earned Brentford a point in a 1-1 draw against Bradford City at Griffin Park. The Bees fell behind in the 37th minute and had the chances to take all three points as they dominated the second period.
Brentford made two changes from the team which earned a point at Colchester last week, but were pleased that Jay Tabb was fit to start. Isaiah Rankin and Alex Rhodes came into the starting eleven, with Calum Willock and Marcus Gayle dropping to the substitute's bench.
The Bees started brightly and Tabb had an early free kick deflected over but the game failed to settle into a cohesive pattern. Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, who has made a habit of scoring against Brentford, tested Stuart Nelson with a free kick while Bradford goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts had to race off his line to head away as Rankin tried to latch onto an Owusu flick.
Owusu came within a whisker of giving the home side the lead when he raced onto a lofted pass from Ricky Newman, his lobbed effort sailed over Ricketts but dropped just the wrong side of the post. Owusu shot weakly at Ricketts and Sam Sodje headed over as Brentford pressed
Veteran striker Dean Windass was hurt in an early collision with Sodje and spent most of the first half in a head bandage but he played a key part as the visitors took the lead against the run of play. Bridge-Wilkinson floated a corner in, Windass nodded down and Michael Symes swivelled and shot into the top corner. Symes could have doubled that lead moments later when he lashed in a shot from 25 yards but Nelson tipped the effort onto the post.
Windass was forced to leave the field five minutes before the break and while Bradford were down to ten men Brentford pulled level. Rhodes, who had moved forward to partner Owusu, dropped off the front to find space, his pass found Jamie Smith racing forward on the right and Owusu diverted his cross past Ricketts into the far corner. Rhodes could have put Brentford in front before the break after he and Brooker dispossessed Damion Stewart but his shot flew wide.
The Bees had the first chance after the re-start too when Sodje met a Tabb free kick, but he headed straight at Ricketts. Andrew Frampton produced a great last ditch tackle to deny Windass a shooting opportunity after nice interplay between Windass and substitute Danny Cadamarteri. And Frampton was soon in action at the other end, bringing a fine save from Ricketts with a low drive after a one-two with Owusu.
Brentford introduced Willock with twenty minutes remaining and his lay off to Frampton started the move of the match, which should have led to a second Bees' goal. Frampton fed Tabb who in turn found Rhodes, his delightful flick put Owusu clear but he placed his shot the wrong side of the post. Owusu then headed wide from a Smith cross as Brentford applied further pressure.
The visitors had been almost anonymous after the break but could have snatched a lucky winner when Cadamarteri fired the ball over his own head from 40 yards; it was dropping under the crossbar before Nelson tipped it over.
Brentford: Nelson; Smith, Turner, Sodje, Frampton; Brooker (sub Willock 71 mins), Newman (sub Pratley 80 mins), Tabb, Rhodes (sub Tillen 87 mins); Rankin, Owusu
Subs (not used): Gayle, Bankole
Attendance: 6, 533
Written by Chris Wickham