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Match Report


Posted Sat 22 Nov 08 at 19:40 PM


Karleigh Osborne grabbed his second goal in two games to rescue a point for Brentford when it looked like they were to be handed an unjust home defeat

The right back popped up in stoppage time to force the ball over the line - after a Sam Wood free kick was only half stopped by Darlington goalkeeper Andy Oakes - and deny the visitors a 1-0 win which could only have been described as daylight robbery.

Richie Foran, Darlington's lone striker, scored the visitors' goal on the hour mark as it looked as if the promotion chasing visitors would win their sixth league game on the spin - but they reckoned without Osborne's late intervention.

Darlington lined up with five men across the midfield and just Foran in attack and it soon became apparent they would not be flooding forward to support him.

That allowed Brentford to push The Quakers back when they could retain possession and The Bees spent periods of the match camped inside opposition territory.

Darlington were basically shotless in the first period, their only effort of note coming inside the first twenty minutes when a Rob Purdie shot was blocked after a scramble inside the Brentford area.

The hosts offered more but had a well-drilled backline to contend with and chances were few and far between.

Dean Bowditch had a cross-cum-shot fly narrowly wider early on and the same player shot over from the edge of the box after a nice touch from Charlie MacDonald.

The best chance of the opening 45 fell to Osborne, who flicked a Glenn Poole free kick narrowly wide after beating Oakes to the ball.

And Mark Phillips brought a low save out of Oakes with another headed effort from a Poole dead ball.

The game followed a similar pattern after half time, with Brentford on top - before the visitors hit with a sucker punch.

Bowditch went close early on, forcing a low save out of Oakes after a nice run, Poole fired a free kick over and Newton drilled in a shot after cutting inside which Oakes could only palm out, but fortunately for the visitors' stopper the ball hit MacDonald and rolled wide.

Darlington snatched the lead with their first real effort on goal on the hour mark when Franz Burgmeier curled a free kick to the far post and Foran nodded past Ben Hamer.

The Irish striker could have doubled his and Darlington's tally minutes later when he picked up a loose ball and raced towards goal, Hamer got down well to save the first effort and Brentford scrambled the ball away.

But after that double burst the game reverted to its familiar pattern, with Brentford looking for a way through.

Nathan Elder was introduced to replace the injured Newton and gave the attack more physical presence.

The powerful striker had a shot blocked by Oakes after a Poole nod down and then headed into the path of fellow substitute Sam Wood who fizzed a shot narrowly wide.

Elder had a golden opportunity to equalise when Ryan Dickson picked him out with a low cross after a great run but he turned the effort wide and Osborne fired over soon after.

But minutes later the Bees defender grabbed his first Griffin Park goal to level things and ensure the spoils were shared.

Brentford: Hamer; Osborne, Phillips, Bennett, Dickson; Newton (sub Elder 63 mins), O'Connor, Bean, Poole (sub Wood 73 mins); Bowditch, MacDonald

Subs (not used): Anderson, Johnson, Pead

Darlington: Oakes; Austin, White, Ryan, Valentine; Purdie, Kennedy, Ravenhill (sub Main 73 mins), Hulbert, Burgmeier (sub Miller 88 mins); Foran

Subs (not used): Kazimierczak, Blundell, Griffin

Attendance: 4,837 (410 away fans)

Written by Chris Wickham

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