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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 28 Dec 09 at 16:59 PM

BRENTFORD 1 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 1

The spoils were shared in a Bank Holiday London derby as Charlton Athletic fought back to deny Brentford a third straight win.

The home side took the lead early in the second half through Carl Cort but a Nicky Bailey penalty levelled it up before the hour mark.

Brentford dominated the later stages and probably deserved a second goal but Charlton held on, with their fingertips at times, to earn a point.

The Bees started brightly with John Bostock, back on the right of midfield, at the heart of most of their attacking play.

A viciously curling free kick inside the first five minutes was cleared desperately by the visitors after Pim Balkestein had a header blocked and Marcus Bean had a shot blocked soon after.

Rhys Murphy, making his first Brentford start, also had an early sight of goal when Bostock played him through in the left channel but his lofted attempt was saved easily by Rob Elliott.

Charlton probably had the better of the first half hour with Chris Dickson - who scored twice on his début for Bristol Rovers at Griffin Park when on loan earlier this season - lively.

The striker lofted an effort over early on after Akpo Sodje headed into his path and Miguel Llera headed over soon after.

The visitors almost took the lead when Lewis Price failed to gather a Bailey free kick that had been diverted on by Leon Legge but Charlton couldn't force it in.

They did have the upper hand though and Price produced a fine low save after a Lloyd Sam shot deflected off Sam Wood.

An acrobatic Dickson effort was saved by Price soon after before Ben Strevens had a shot blocked after beating a couple of men.

Charlton almost grabbed a controversial goal when referee Andy D'Urso failed to whistle for a foul on Legge and the ball was worked to Sodje on the left of the box but Price was again alert to save well.

Murphy had a low shot saved late in the half before the chance of the first 45 fell to Dickson in stoppage time.

Sam intercepted a weak Bostock pass and slipped it forward to Dickson, Price came out to narrow the angle and the lofted effort drifted just wide of the far post.

Brentford manager Andy Scott introduced Cort for Murphy at half time and within three minutes the tall front man had given his team the lead.

Ryan Dickson did well to win a corner on the left and when Bostock floated it to the edge of the box Bean and Legge tried to create room for a shot - the midfield man did get an effort in and although it bobbled weakly into the middle Cort was lurking to fire it home.

Charlton were perhaps unfortunate to be behind, although their defending for Cort's goal left a lot to be desired, and sought immediately to level it up.

Nicky Bailey shot wide from 20 yards before Matt Spring lashed an effort well over but within ten minutes of falling behind they were level.

Dickson ran into space on the right side of the penalty area and was brought crashing down by the charging Price.

The Bees keeper was booked and almost redeemed himself when he got a hand to Bailey's powerful spot kick but he couldn't keep it out.

Neither teams showed any indication of being happy with a point and the game stretched a little as a winner was sought, but it made for fine entertainment.

Substitute Myles Weston was Brentford's live wire and his forays down the left wing were the home side's main source of inspiration.

Balls into the box were also causing problems with Cort the main danger - The Bees had two penalty appeals turned down and a Balkestein header was blocked while Llera headed straight at Price at the other end.

Substitute Sam Saunders came within a whisker of a Brentford second with a curling free kick from 20 yards which smacked against the crossbar and bounced away.

Saunders sliced another effort wide as time ticked on and although Charlton had attacking options it was Brentford who looked the most likely to win it.

But try as The Bees might they could not get a clear sight of goal to get the win and a deflected Leon McKenzie shot in stoppage time looped inches over as Charlton almost snatched it.

Brentford: Price; Foster, Legge, Balkestein, Dickson; Bostock (sub Saunders 64 mins) Bean, O'Connor, Wood (sub Weston 59 mins); Strevens, Murphy (sub Cort h/t)

Subs (not used): Moore, Bennett, Osborne, Hunt

Bookings: Foster (16 mins) (third of season), Bostock (40 mins), Price (57 mins)

Charlton Athletic: Elliott; Omozusi, Llera, Semedo, Basey; Sam, Spring, Bailey, Wagstaff (sub Shelvey 54 mins); Dickson (sub McKenzie 78 mins), Sodje

Subs (not used): Randolph, Racon, McLeod, Solly, Mambo

Bookings: Semedo (31 mins)

Attendance: 8,387 (1,783 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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