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Match Report


Posted Sat 25 Apr 09 at 18:40 PM


Brentford clinched the League Two title with a brilliant win against Darlington.

Billy Clarke scored twice after captain Alan Bennett had given The Bees the lead with his first goal of the season.

Darlington, who had defender Alan White sent off inside the first 80 seconds, pulled one back through Pawel Abbott but it wasn't enough and Port Vale's draw with Wycombe Wanderers gave The Bees the title.

The game was just over a minute old when referee Rob Shoebridge was forced to make a big decision, sending White off for an elbow on Damian Spencer.

Spencer was withdrawn with a serious looking facial injury and Bennett flicked David Hunt's free kick inches wide.

Przemyslaw Kazimierczak in the home goal saved from Bennett soon after and Clarke fired a volley inches wide before Curtis Main had a shot deflected wide at the other end.

With a man advantage Brentford were dominant - Marcus Bean shot wide, a fierce Hunt shot cannoned into his midfield partner when it was arrowing towards goal and Sam Wood had a looping header saved.

It seemed only a matter of time before Brentford scored but it came from an unusual source.

Wood's corner dropped into a gaggle of players and Bennett reacted quickest to lash home from eight yards.

Ben Hamer had to tip a curling Franz Burgmeier free kick over at the other end but Brentford grabbed their second just before half time.

Hunt curled a delightful free kick into the box and Clarke steered a header past Kazimierczak and into the corner to send the travelling Brentford fans into raptures.

Burgmeier had a free kick deflected onto the bar seconds before the break but within minutes of the re-start Clarke sealed the win, and started the party.

The tricky striker skipped past Ian Miller and Neil Austin before firing a shot past Kazimierczak and into the net.

Adam Newton lofted a shot just over and Ryan Dickson had an effort deflected wide before Sam Williams had a shot saved as Brentford pressed forward.

But Darlington grabbed a goal when Abbott picked up a Ricky Ravenhill pass and drilled the ball past Hamer.

The Brentford stopper, who had picked up an injury in the first half, was withdrawn soon after but replacement Simon Brown had little to do.

Bennett headed over, Wood sliced a volley wide and Clarke flicked a header inches past the post as Brentford regained the upper hand.

They could have scored a fourth when Bean miss-hit a Glenn Poole cross in front of goal and when the ball came back in Austin cleared Sam Williams' header off the line.

But by that time the party was in full swing behind the goal and when the result from Vale Park was confirmed Brentford celebrated the championship.

Darlington: Kazimierczak; Valentine, White, Miller, Purdie; Poole (sub Hulbert 85 mins), Ravenhill, Kennedy, Burgmeier (sub Griffin 80 mins); Main (sub Austin 36 mins), Abbott

Subs (not used): Groves, Pocklington

Brentford: Hamer (sub Simon Brown 62 mins); Halls, Phillips, Bennett, Dickson; Newton, Hunt, Bean, Wood (sub Poole 86 mins); Spencer (sub S. Williams), Clarke

Subs (not used): Osborne, M. Williams

Attendance: 3,868

Written by Chris Wickham

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