Brentford were consigned to the play-offs as a 0-0 draw for Colchester United at Yeovil gave them the point they needed to clinch promotion meaning The Bees' 2-2 draw at Bournemouth was irrelevant. The visitors were set to take all three points when Andrew Frampton gave them a 2-1 lead but a last gasp Steve Fletcher goal meant it finished all square.
With Brentford knowing they had to win to have any chance of finishing inside the top two they made a couple of alterations. Isaiah Rankin returned to the Bees' line-up, replacing Calum Willock and Jamie Smith was brought in to replace Paul Brooker, this meant Kevin O'Connor moving forward to play on the right of midfield.
The Bees could have made the perfect start when a Jay Tabb cross dropped to Darren Pratley 12 yards out but he failed to connect with the shot and Adam Griffiths blocked. Bournemouth's first sight of goal came after ten minutes when Steve Fletcher flicked on a long ball and James Hayter fired over the crossbar, Ricky Newman then deflected a Steven Foley shot wide.
Brentford had dominated territory and looked the more dangerous in attack, without really creating a clear cut chance. When the chance came in the 23rd minute it was emphatically taken. The home side failed to clear a long throw and O'Connor curled a cross in, Marcus Gayle and Rankin battled for the loose ball and as it dropped ten yards out Sam Sodje slotted home.
Rankin could have doubled the lead quarter of an hour later when he picked the ball up on the left, cut inside and let fly from 15 yards but Gareth Stewart flew to his left to turn it away. Gayle then had a header deflected over from a Tabb corner.
Bournemouth had offered little in attack but with their first shot on target, seconds before the break, they drew level. Newman was penalised and Foley stepped up to curl a free kick over the wall and into the bottom corner.
The goal led to a much improved showing after the interval from the home side and Foley could have edged them ahead on two occasions soon after the re-start. In the 53rd minute from another free-kick he cannoned a shot off the crossbar and Stuart Nelson saved superbly low to his left from another ten minutes later.
In the 65th minute The Bees grabbed a crucial second goal when the home side failed to clear a Tabb corner, Sodje sliced his attempt at a shot but Frampton was there to lash it home.
Although Bournemouth did not have as much to play for as The Bees they were not willing to let the points go. Nelson saved well from a Callum Hart lob and the same player fired wide moments later. The Brentford goalkeeper then saved low to his right from Ben Rix.
Bournemouth were reduced to ten men with eleven minutes remaining when Tabb was brought down by Griffiths on the edge of the box, it was his second yellow card. With the extra man Brentford took control, Gayle flicked a header narrowly wide and Stewart saved well from another shot but just when it seemed as if all was well Sodje was sent off for his second bookable offence.
That gave the home side impetus and Fletcher came close to equalising when he met a Foley free kick but Gayle blocked, the Brentford striker blocked superbly again as the ball dropped again to Fletcher.
The big striker did eventually make his presence felt when he turned home a cross at the far post to ensure the game finished 2-2.
Brentford: Nelson; Smith, Turner, Sodje, Frampton; O'Connor (sub Tillen h/t), Newman, Pratley, Tabb; Gayle, Rankin (sub Rhodes 87 mins)
Subs (not used): Willock, Brooker, Bankole
Written by Chris Wickham