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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 28 Mar 09 at 17:03 PM

BRENTFORD 1 GILLINGHAM 1

Brentford were held to a draw by Gillingham after a second half penalty gave one of The Bees' nearest challengers a share of the spoils.

The Bees had led at the break thanks to a delightful goal scored direct from a free kick by David Hunt but the Kent side hit back.

And they levelled just before the hour mark when Andy Barcham was brought down in the box and Simeon Jackson converted from the spot.

A draw was probably a fair result as two of the best teams in the division cancelled each other out for long periods, particularly in the first half.

They spent most of the first half hour sizing each other up and looking for weaknesses, and there were few early openings.

Sam Wood - who started on the right of midfield - had a header from a Ryan Dickson cross deflected wide and Karleigh Osborne headed a Hunt corner wide.

Gillingham's main danger was proving to be wide man Barcham and Ben Hamer had to hold a low cross-cum-shot before Jackson shot wide after picking up the ball 20 yards out.

Defender Mark Bentley had to clear off the line for the visitors after Sam Williams flicked on a Hunt throw and Nicky Southall sliced a shot wide at the other end.

The Bees took the lead with four minutes remaining in the first half when a free kick was awarded for a foul on Dickson and Hunt curled the ball round the wall and into the net - goalkeeper Simon Royce was left motionless by the power of the kick although he might have been badly positioned.

The visitors thought they had levelled things immediately when Jackson slotted home after he had got past Alan Bennett on the edge of the box but he was deemed to have done so illegally.

They should have been level minutes after the break when Mark McCammon headed wide at the far post from a Southall corner and Curtis Weston was unable to convert a Barcham cross after good work again by the wide man.

Royce had to be alert to gather a Charlie MacDonald header at the other end and Billy Clarke had a low shot comfortably saved.

Barcham was the key man for the equalising goal when he skipped past Osborne and went down as the Brentford defender lunged in to recover - a penalty was given and although Hamer went the right way he couldn't keep it out.

Clarke fired a volley narrowly wide from 25 yards soon after and Hunt also blasted wide from distance before MacDonald went close whenhe latched onto a Gary Smith header and created space for a shot which he screwed wide.

Dickson had to make a good late tackle when Southall bore down on goal and Smith volleyed over from the edge of the box after a free kick was half cleared.

The day ended on a sour note when MacDonald was stretchered of with a serious looking shoulder injury and Wood fired a volley inches over with the last kick of the game.

The teams strived for a winner but it wasn't to be as it ended all-square and Brentford kept their position as the team to catch at the top of League Two.

Brentford: Hamer; Osborne, Phillips (sub Powell 86 mins), Bennett, Dickson; Wood, Hunt, Bean, Clarke (sub Smith 74 mins); MacDonald, S. Williams (sub Spencer 69 mins)

Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Halls

Gillingham: Royce; Fuller, King, Bentley, Nutter; Southall (sub Oli 84 mins), Miller, Weston, Barcham; McCammon, Jackson

Subs (not used): Julian, Lewis, Richards, Wright

Attendance: 7,908 (1803 away fans)

Written by Chris Wickham

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