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Match Report


Posted Tue 10 Mar 09 at 23:40 PM


Brentford stretched their lead at the top of League Two with their fifth win in six matches, the latest a derby victory over Barnet.

Marcus Bean scored the only goal of the game with an early header and with The Bees keeping their fifth clean sheet in the last six outings they had enough to win.

The only goal came from Brentford's first corner when Bean met Kevin O'Connor's inswinging delivery to glance the ball home.

The visitors offered the league-leading Bees a real test and came close to levelling when they hit a post midway through the first period but they couldn't break through despite severe second half pressure.

And with closest challengers Wycombe Wanderers losing at Lincoln City, Brentford moved seven points clear at the top with ten games left to play.

Barnet probably went away from Griffin Park wondering how they lost, they threw the kitchen sink at Brentford after Bean's early striker and but for some great defending and average finishing they would have taken at least a point.

But they could have had no complaints if they had been out of it within the first half hour.

Goalkeeper Jake Cole saved from a long range John Halls effort, Jordan Rhodes sliced an effort wide and Bean could have had a second when a Ryan Dickson cross found its way through to him 12 yards out, but he scuffed his shot wide.

Cole saved a bouncing shot from the returning Gary Smith and Charlie MacDonald fired wide after a nice turn but Barnet were beginning to come into the game.

Jon O'Flynn fired a free kick narrowly wide and it took a great save by Ben Hamer to tip a curling Paul Furlong shot onto the post, the Brentford stopper also recovered quickly to save from Yannick Bolasie.

Neal Bishop shot well over, Albert Adomah volleyed wide when well placed and Ismail Yakubu saw a shot dribbled wide from the edge of the box.

Alan Bennett and Ryan Dickson also had to react well to deny O'Flynn and Bishop respectively while Sam Wood had a shot pushed out and Cole smothered at Rhodes' feet as the game gathered momentum.

The second half continued where the first left off with both teams creating chances.

Cole tipped a Rhodes header over the top, Wood had a cross-cum-shot saved and Mark Phillips headed over from close range.

But it was Barnet who had the better of the second period and Brentford had to work hard to stay ahead.

Gary Breen volleyed over from close range at the far post and his central defensive colleague Yakubu came even closer when a goalbound header from a Matt Lockwood corner was diverted wide by Adomah.

Furlong turned an Adomah cross wide, Bennett reacted brilliantly to block an O'Flynn shot and Hamer saved well from an acrobatic Yakubu effort.

O'Flynn shot wide soon after and then saw Hamer tip a shot over before Wood headed a Yakubu effort off the line.

Yakubu headed wide at the far post with seconds ticking by and with Bennett and Phillips magnificent Brentford held strong.

They could have sewn it up when MacDonald put substitute debutant Sam Williams away but he shot over with only Cole to beat.

And they came even closer in stoppage time when MacDonald challenged Cole for a Sam Williams nod down and the ball bounced off the post.

But with Brentford maintaining their excellent defensive record Bean's early strike was enough.

Brentford: Hamer; Halls, Phillips, Bennett, Dickson; Smith (sub M. Williams 73 mins), O'Connor (sub Hunt 89 mins), Bean, Wood; MacDonald, Rhodes (sub S. Williams 70 mins)

Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Osborne

Barnet: Cole; Hughes (sub Birchall 87 mins), Yakubu, Breen, Lockwood; Adomah, Bishop, Deverdics (sub Akurang 79 mins), Bolasie, Furlong, O'Flynn

Subs (not used): Kadoch, Gillet, Leary

Attendance: 4,742 (373 away fans)

Written by Chris Wickham

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