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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 17 Nov 07 at 17:12 PM

BRENTFORD 0 DARLINGTON 2

Two first half goals were enough for high-flying Darlington as they condemned Brentford to another Griffin Park defeat.

A Clark Keltie penalty and a scrappy Tommy Wright goal gave The Quakers a lead they never looked like relinquishing, although they had to defend well, and be thankful for Brentford's inaccuracy in front of goal, to ensure they took all three points.

The visitors started brightly and an early Gregg Blundell cross was turned away but it was Brentford who had the first sight of goal, Sammy Moore screwed a shot wide from the edge of the box then had a curled free kick deflected wide.

Matthew Heywood had a fierce volley blocked and Charlie Ide blazed over the bar from a tight angle but the game swung Darlington's way minutes later.

Bees' skipper John Mackie was penalised for a trip on Wright and Keltie dispatched the penalty past Simon Brown.

The visitors grew in confidence, Blundell forced a save from Brown and Heywood had to be alert to prevent Michael Cummins a run on goal after a nice Blundell lay-off.

Brentford tried to find a way back into the match, Moore fired a scissor kick over the bar and had a shot blocked soon after while Darlington goalkeeper David Stockdale was forced into a save from Glenn Poole.

And Brentford's missed chances came back to haunt them when Darlington extended their lead after a quick break from a Bees corner.

Keltie's fine long pass found Julian Joachim on the right, he bundled his way past Kevin O'Connor and picked out Blundell with a fine cut back, the first shot was blocked but when the Quakers' striker lofted the ball back in Wright managed to bundle it home at the far post.

Brentford knew they had to throw everything at Darlington in the second period and after a quiet start they did, and it led to a thrilling end-to-end last half hour or so.

Stockdale saved superbly from Moore early in the half after Ide had an effort blocked but the best chances in the opening stags of the second period fell to the visitors.

Mackie and O'Connor had to combine to deny Blundell when he ran clear and substitute Pawel Abbott shot straight at Brown from the re-bound when it seemed easier to score.

And the Brentford goalkeeper saved brilliantly from a Ritchie Foran header minutes later when he connected with a Joachim cross.

The introduction of loan winger Ryan Dickson revitalised The Bees and his first act was to hare down the left and find Ide with a deep cross but the shot was blocked.

That proved to be the story of the last 30 minutes, Brentford laying siege to the Darlington goal but were unable to find a way through.

Poole curled a free kick narrowly over and had a shot blocked and Ide had another effort deflected away minutes later.

It was not proving to be Brentford's day; substitute Alan Connell couldn't find a way to convert a Thorpe nod down and Ide screwed the follow-up wide.

The visitors were still dangerous on the break, Blundell heading wide after another quick break but most of the action was in the Darlington half, Mackie had a header blocked, Connell volleyed over and Moore couldn't convert a Ben Starosta cross at full stretch.

And when Stockdale produced a brilliant double save from Thorpe with less than three minutes remaining Brentford were pretty much resigned to their fate.

Brown produced a fine save to deny Joe Colbeck and Connell placed a shot over late on but despite frantic late attacking the game finished, as it seemed destined to from the 60th minute, with a 2-0 Darlington win.

Brentford: Brown; Starosta, Heywood (sub Charles 79 mins), Mackie, O'Connor; Pead (sub Dickson 62 mins); Ide, Moore, Poole, Shakes (sub Connell 62 mins); Thorpe

Subs (not used): Masters, Smith

Bookings: Moore (65 mins) (fourth of season), Dickson (68 mins), Mackie (78 mins) (fourth of season)

Darlington: Stockdale; Austin, White, Foster, Brackstone; Joachim, Cummins, Keltie; Foran (sub Colbeck 79 mins); Blundell (sub Miller 88 mins), Wright (sub Abbott 51 mins)

Subs (not used): Oakes, Ravenhill

Bookings: Keltie (17 mins), Foran (20 mins), Wright (40 mins)

Attendance: 4,657 (393 visiting fans)

Written by Chris Wickham

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