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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 12 Apr 08 at 17:34 PM

BRENTFORD 2 BRADFORD CITY 2

Glenn Poole's thirteenth goal of the season and a spectacular Alan Bennett strike, his first goal in professional football, sandwiched two impressive goals by the visitors as Brentford and Bradford shared four first-half goals in an entertaining encounter at Griffin Park on Saturday. Andy Scott made once change to the side that beat Rotherham last weekend. Alan Connell was recalled to the starting eleven in place of Ricky Shakes, who was named as a substitute as the Bees reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. The home side started brightly and could have scored within the first minute, Wayne Brown getting to the line and pulling the ball back for Connell who mis-cued from the edge of the six yard box. The Bees continued to dominate, playing with pace and forcing the visitors into mistakes, and deservedly took the lead with just six minutes on the clock. Gary Smith stole the ball and pushed forward into space before laying the ball off for Glenn Poole, who took a touch before firing a low drive into the bottom left-hand corner from twenty yards, as the away defence stood off. Brentford continued to push forward and pressurise the Bantams, who were struggling to find their feet before they equalised against the run of play with virtually their first attack of the match. Peter Thorne latched onto a knock-down to fire an unstoppable volley into the top left-hand corner of Simon Brown's goal from twenty yards, with the Brentford keeper rooted to the spot. Two minutes later the home crowd were stunned as the visitors took the lead with another sublime strike. This time it came from Karl Nix, who after headers from Alex Rhodes and Joe Colbeck, fired a rasping angled left-footed drive into the same corner as the previous goal. Five minutes later Simon Brown came to the rescue with a fine low save, after Eddie Johnson had raced clear following a slip by Matt Heywood, and within minutes it proved even more crucial as the Bees levelled through an unlikely source. Following some head tennis on the edge of the Bradford box, the ball sat up nicely for Alan Bennett, who, despite the angle, smashed his volleyed shot home from 22 yards, off the underside of the bar, giving Scott Loach no chance whatsoever. Rhodes then saw his powerful strike easily saved by Brown, before Connell's attempted lob at the other end didn't quite have enough purchase to beat Loach. Brentford pressed again, Elder finding space from a Gary Smith corner but heading wide, and then Heywood also heading wide from a Smith free-kick. Bradford came close to restoring their advantage on 38 minutes, as an attempted cross from Tom Penford landed on Simon's Brown bar, with the Bees' keeper back-peddling. An exciting first half came to a close as Nathan Elder saw his header cleared off the line from another excellent Smith set-piece, and Wayne Brown shot wide having latched onto a Heywood clearance and found space in the box. The second half started in torrential rain and Bradford had the first chance of note, Joe Colbeck pulling his shot wide to Brown's right. The home side responded, the lively Wayne Brown taking down Dickson's cross-field pass superbly, before cutting onto his left foot and firing a fierce shot narrowly over. On the hour mark, Connell provided a tidy lay-off for Gary Smith who saw his drive keep rising without troubling Loach. Moments later Nathan Elder turned sharply inside the box after good work from Connell and Poole, but saw his shot palmed to safety by Loach. David Wetherall produced a fine interception on 68 minutes, which denied Connell a clear run at goal, which followed an equally smart stop by Bennett at the other end. As the rain subsided, Brentford should have taken the lead with a quarter of an hour remaining. Poole's cross was not dealt with by Mark Bower and Connell controlled well and turned sharply but volleyed his shot over the bar from inside the six yard box. Moments later Wayne Brown sliced wide after a surging run into the box, before he was replaced by Ricky Shakes as the Bees looked for a winner against a visiting side who appeared to be happy to head back up the M1 with a point. However chances were few and far between for the remainder of the match, but Brentford came close with one last throw of the dice in injury time. Elder flicked Craig Pead's long throw towards Connell, who controlled on his chest and acrobatically crossed the ball back over his head. O'Connor, arriving late, couldn't quite latch onto the pass, and as the ball squirmed away from Poole, the Bees had to settle for their fifth home draw of the season. Written by Matt Davis Brentford: Simon Brown; Pead, Bennett, Heywood, Dickson; Wayne Brown (Shakes 82), O'Connor, Smith, Poole; Elder, Connell Subs (not used): Hamer, Sankofa, Mousinho, Osborne Bookings: Elder  Attendance: 4336

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