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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Dec 09 at 20:56 PM


Brentford extended their unbeaten home run to seven matches with a hard fought goalless draw against league leaders Leeds United.

At a raucous Griffin Park with a near five-figure crowd The Bees became only the third League One side to stop the runaway leaders from scoring.

The visitors had the better of it, and Wojciech Szczesny was the busier goalkeeper, but Brentford were well worth their clean sheet.

The Bees lined up with David Hunt in a deeper midfield role and were able to limit the ball into the feet of the Leeds' front men, particularly in the first half.

The opening 45 minutes saw a war of attrition with Brentford matching their lofty opponents but little good football played by either team, with a cut up pitch making it even harder.

The Bees nearly edged ahead early on when Casper Ankergren failed to gather a John Bostock corner and Leon Legge's header had to be hacked to safety.

Legge headed another corner, this time from Hunt, wide later in the half and with Charlie MacDonald employed as a lone front man it was only when other players were able to get forward that Brentford looked dangerous in the early stages.

Ryan Dickson did so often to good effect and Kevin O'Connor headed a Bostock cross wide when he pushed forward.

The best chance of the first half fell to Leeds' prolific striker Jermaine Beckford - Neil Kilkenny beat O'Connor to a high ball and the Bees defence switched off as Beckford raced in behind, his shot from a tight angle was brilliantly tipped onto the post and away by Szczesny.

Max Gradel was also popping up in dangerous areas for the visitors - a shot on the turn flew over before Szczesny had to save at his feet as he tried to reach a Beckford pass and another effort drifted wide soon after.

Szczesny saved from Jonathan Howson and Beckford shot wide before the break and immediately afterwards Beckford headed straight at the Brentford stopper before Luciano Becchio lifted an effort over the Pole but it landed on top of the crossbar and bounced over.

The visitors stepped up a gear after half time and dominated the opening exchanges of the second period and could have had the game won before the hour mark.

Gradel shot wide when a Becchio header reached him at the far post, Szczesny saved a curling Beckford effort and Kilkenny shot over.

The best chance came when Howson slipped the ball through to Beckford, who looked marginally offside, he went through against Szczesny but the big goalkeeper saved with his legs.

It also appeared the visitors were losing their tempers and flashpoints involving Gradel and Becchio could have lead to more than just harsh words from referee Darren Deadman.

Gradel shot narrowly wide after a run from deep but after Brentford weathered the storm they started to create chances of their own.

MacDonald had a shot blocked, substitute Sam Saunders saw a free kick deflect wide and Bostock shot wide from the edge of the box.

Legge almost scored a blockbuster of a goal when he controlled the ball 20 yards out and cut inside on his left foot but his shot fizzed narrowly wide.

Tresor Kandol came close to winning it late on for Leeds with a shot which bobbled across the face of goal and a header from a Hogan Ephraim corner which flew wide while Sam Wood had a shot blocked.

But despite four minutes of stoppage time neither was breached and the spoils were shared.

Brentford: Szczesny; Foster, Legge, Balkestein, Dickson; Hunt; Strevens (sub Saunders 69 mins), O'Connor, Bean, Bostock (sub Wood 80 mins); MacDonald

Subs (not used): Moore, Bennett, Wilson, Cort, Murphy

Leeds United: Ankergren; Hughes, Bromby, Kisnorbo, Capaldi; Howson (sub Crowe 84 mins) Doyle, Kilkenny, Gradel (sub Ephraim 75 mins); Beckford, Becchio (sub Kandol 75 mins)

Subs (not used): Martin, Naylor, Grella, Michalik

Attendance: 9,031 (1,737 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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