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Match Report


Posted Mon 16 Mar 09 at 08:03 AM


Brentford maintained their position at the top of League Two after a 3-3 draw with nearest challengers Wycombe Wanderers.

The battle of the division's top two teams was a brilliant advert for the league with Brentford taking the lead twice before the visitors pegged them back.

Wycombe went ahead early in the second period but influential midfield player Tommy Doherty was sent off midway through the half and substitute Sam Williams popped up with an equaliser with nine minutes to play.

The game saw the division's two best defences go head to head but both sides proved they had plenty to offer in attack too.

A first half which saw four goals - all from set pieces - came to life inside the first 90 seconds when Brentford took the lead.

David Hunt, who was to be at the centre of much of the action, swung over a corner which Alan Bennett headed down and Jordan Rhodes reacted quickest to turn it over the line with players from both side scrambling to get a touch.

Charlie MacDonald could have doubled the lead minutes later when he turned well on the edge of the box and fired in a shot but goalkeeper Marek Stech saved well and Rhodes could not force home the re-bound.

Bennett had a shot deflected wide, John Halls fired over from distance and Rhodes had a shot saved as Brentford dominated the early exchanges.

Wycombe had offered little - apart from a weak Matt Harrold shot - and when they equalised it was completely against the run of play.

Brentford failed to clear a corner and when Doherty curled in a cross John Akinde headed past Ben Hamer.

The goal gave the visitors a boost, Lewwis Spence had a shot deflected inches wide and Sam Wood cleared a Harrold effort off the line.

But it was Brentford who got the next goal, Hunt's first for the club.

He curled in a free kick which was begging to be headed home but with no-one able to get a touch and Stech rooted to his line the ball bounced into the far corner.

Minutes later Harrold was lucky to stay on the pitch when he was only booked by referee Paul Taylor for an elbow on Phillips and his side could have been further behind when a Brentford break ended in MacDonald heading wide at full stretch.

And Wycombe made the most of the double reprieve when a Woodman corner was headed up in the air and former Brentford man John Mousinho headed home, although it did appear as if he had committed a foul in doing so.

There was still time for Hunt to have a free kick deflected wide and Bennett to head wide before the break but immediately after the re-start Wycombe caught the hosts with a sucker punch.

Akinde robbed substitute Brett Johnson - on for Ryan Dickson, who picked up a head injury late in the first half - and tore down the right, he cut inside and lashed home.

Brentford attempted to hit back immediately, Phillips had a looping header tipped wide by Stech and the keeper also held a low Wood effort.

Wycombe were holding firm but the game swung dramatically in the home side's favour when Doherty was sent off for elbowing Hunt.

MacDonald bounced an effort wide soon after but with nine minutes remaining Brentford were level.

Wycombe defender Will Antwi missed an attempt to clear a Wood cross and MacDonald set up Sam Williams to lash home.

Wood fired narrowly wide soon after as Brentford searched for a winner and Stech had to save low from a header by Wycombe substitute Luke Oliver before he denied MacDonald in stoppage time.

With seconds remaining Brentford thought they had won it when Phillips forced home after a Wood shot had been blocked but he was adjudged to be offside.

Wycombe hung on for grim death in the latter stages but Brentford couldn't break through and had to settle for a point which extends their unbeaten run to nine and maintains their seven point lead at the top of the table.

Brentford: Hamer; Halls, Phillips, Bennett, Dickson (sub Johnson h/t); Newton (sub S. Williams 69 mins), Hunt, Bean, Wood; MacDonald, Rhodes

Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Osborne, Smith

Wycombe Wanderers: Stech; Casement, Johnson, Antwi, Woodman; Mousinho (sub Phillips h/t (sub Oliver 70 mins)), Doherty, Holt, Spence, Harrold, Akinde (sub Pitman 90 mins)

Subs (not used): Young, Ashton

Attendance: 10,642 (1,661 away fans)

Written by Chris Wickham

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