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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 17 Apr 06 at 17:46 PM

BRENTFORD 1 BLACKPOOL 1

A goal with just ninety seconds remaining from Blackpool captain Peter Clarke denied Brentford three vital points in their push for promotion. A Lloyd Owusu penalty, his fourth goal in five games, gave The Bees a 54th minute lead but Clarke's late strike meant the game finished 1-1.

Brentford made three changes from the team which drew 2-2 at Rotherham two days previously with Junior Lewis making his first start since Boxing Day. Sam Tillen and Alex Rhodes also returned to the starting line-up with Jamie Smith, Darren Pratley and Paul Brooker left out.

The Bees started brightly in the Griffin Park sunshine and had lots of early possession while Blackpool held two solid lines of four and tried to frustrate. Jay Tabb missed an opportunity to open the scoring in the 12th minute when he failed to connect with an Owusu cross and Isaiah Rankin shot wide as Brentford pressed.

Blackpool's first sight of goal came just before the quarter hour when Keigan Parker fed Gareth Williams but he shot into the side netting. Keith Southern tested Stuart Nelson with a long range effort and Brentford's goalkeeper saved excellently from the same player after he was allowed to advance twenty yards and let fly from distance.

Brentford still had the better of the play, Ricky Newman forced Lee Jones to save from a dipping volley and Owusu headed a Tabb free kick over. Newman and Rankin both fired wide as half time approached.

The visitors had the first opportunity after the break when Parker created space and curled a shot wide but it was Brentford who took lead soon after. Tabb burst into the box after picking up a Lewis pass and was bundled over by Rob Edwards. Owusu sent Jones the wrong way from the spot.

Brentford grew in confidence and came close to extending the lead three minutes later. A Newman corner dropped to Rhodes who fizzed in a shot from a tight angle, it beat Jones but cannoned to safety off the angle of post and crossbar. Jones saved well from an Owusu header and Rhodes volleyed just over the bar as Brentford dominated.

Blackpool were restricted to chances on the break and Andrew Frampton had to be alert to prevent Ciaran Donnelly turning in a Williams cross after a great run from the statuesque striker.

Brentford seemed to have control of proceedings but Blackpool were pushing their hosts back without creating too many openings. Nelson saved from a Southern shot but just when it seemed as if the home side would take three vital points Clarke struck. The central defender, pushed forward as an auxiliary striker, cushioned a long ball, slipped past Sam Sodje and lashed the ball past Nelson.

Brentford: Nelson; Tillen, Sodje, Turner, Frampton; Tabb, Lewis, Newman (sub Willock 89 mins), Rhodes (sub Pratley 85 mins); Owusu, Rankin

Subs (not used): Brooker, Gayle, Bankole

Attendance: 7,339

Written by Chris Wickham

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