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Match Report


Posted Sat 13 Dec 08 at 19:59 PM


A stoppage time winner from Nathan Elder meant Brentford took all three points against fellow promotion chasers Bradford City at a wet and windy Griffin Park.

It looked for most of the afternoon as if the spoils were going to be shared as it wasn't until the 87th minute that the first goal came.

But that strike - Marcus Bean's first Griffin Park goal - was the start of a crazy five minutes which saw Michael Boulding equalise for the visitors before Elder powered a Ryan Dickson free kick home from eight yards out to give The Bees the win.

On a muddy pitch, which cut up considerably as the game wore on, both teams tried to play football but neither could find the right final pass or finish to claim all three points for most of the match.

It was still an exciting game, however, with the conditions and playing surface causing the odd mistake which only heightened the enjoyment.

Chances came early on with Dickson - forced into service as a make shift right back - clearing well from a low Paul McLaren cross inside the first five minutes and Graeme Lee heading straight at Brentford's new on-loan goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen soon after.

Brentford also went close in the early stages - Charlie MacDonald narrowly failed to connect with a driven Sam Wood cross and loan signing Damian Scannell had a shot blocked.

At the other end Peter Thorne shot over after he was released by a brilliant Paul Arnison ball and Steve Jones shot wide after Boulding had sent him through.

After a frantic opening the game settled down and opportunities were fewer but Elder could have opened the scoring when he flicked a header narrowly over.

Boulding shot over and then had Andersen rush out to save at his feet before Jones shot wide.

Brentford could have edged ahead before the break when Elder met a delightful Wood corner but he headed narrowly wide.

The game continued to entertain after half time and Elder again went close to opening the scoring when he headed a Dickson cross wide before Omar Daley shot wide at the other end.

Bradford almost grabbed a controversial goal when they were awarded a free kick when referee Gavin Ward adjudged Brett Johnson had passed back to Andersen - the dubious free kick was worked to Nicky Law but his shot was cleared off the line by Kevin O'Connor.

Half chances continued to come at both ends, Wood had an effort deflected wide, Matthew Clarke headed a Bean flick on out from underneath his own crossbar and Peter Thorne missed the best opportunity of the afternoon when he failed to turn home a Boulding cross from eight yards out.

Graeme Lee had a free kick deflected wide and Boulding saw a weak effort saved by Andersen before the Danish goalkeeper produced a brilliant full length save to deny Jones.

Mark Phillips shot wide for The Bees and Andersen tipped a Barry Conlon header over the top as time ticked on but the game really sprung to life in the 88th minute.

Dickson set off towards goal and was halted by the Bradford defence but the ball broke to Bean and he steered an effort past Evans and into the corner.

But if Brentford thought they had the game won they reckoned without Boulding, who shot past Andersen seconds later after The Bees failed to clear a Law shot.

That looked to be that but with less than thirty seconds of stoppage time remaining Elder powered home the winner to send the Griffin Park faithful home happy.

Brentford: Andersen; Dickson, Phillips, Bennett, Johnson (sub Poole 76 mins); Scannell (sub Williams 72 mins), O'Connor, Bean, Wood; Elder, MacDonald (sub Bowditch 76 mins)

Subs (not used): Anderson, Odhiambo

Bradford City: Evans; Arnison, Lee, Clarke, O'Brien; Jones, McLaren, Law, Daley; Thorne (sub Conlon 69 mins), Boulding

Subs (not used): McLaughlan, Bower, Moncur, Nix

Attendance: 4,339 (486 away fans)

Written by Chris Wickham

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