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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 13 Mar 10 at 19:14 PM

BRENTFORD 3 MILTON KEYNES DONS 3

Brentford came from behind three times to earn a draw against play-off chasing Milton Keynes Dons.

The Bees fell behind early on but Sam Wood scored his first goal at Griffin Park to level it up before the visitors regained the lead through a dubious penalty.

Ben Strevens scored his second goal of the week to pull it level again only for The Dons to snatch the lead in stoppage time.

But Brentford hit back again and Carl Cort, a late substitute, finished at the back post to earn his team a point.

Whilst the scoring, and late nature of the final equaliser, may suggest The Bees had stolen a point that was far from the truth.

After a slow start Brentford were well on top for most of the match and dominated almost exclusively in the second half.

The Dons were fortunate to end with 11 as their tackling at times went beyond tough into deliberately dirty and their goals came from the hotly-disputed penalty and two uncharacteristic errors from Brentford goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The Dons early attacking was limited almost entirely to long throws from James Tunnicliffe.

His first lead to a chance for Jermaine Easter but Szczesny saved superbly with his legs and his second lead to the opening goal.

Szczesny came to try and claim the flying ball but it slipped from his grasp and Aaron Wilbraham poked home.

Wood fired a free kick into the wall at the other end but Brentford were on the back foot in the early stages.

Another Tunnicliffe long throw was half cleared and Easter lofted an effort over before Mark Carrington blasted over when another long throw was headed away to the edge of the penalty area.

Soon Brentford got a foothold in the game - Strevens had a shot blocked and Mark Phillips had a header deflected away before Mark Randall curled an effort over at the other end.

The Bees equalised just before the half hour when they broke away quickly from a MK free kick - Toumani Diagouraga raced through the midfield before slipping the ball wide to Wood, he slotted the ball under Willy Gueret to level the scores.

With the game level again the tackle began flying in and Randall was perhaps fortunate to only see a yellow card for a cynical foul on Ryan Dickson, it was not to be the last time the Brentford left back was on the end of challenges that struggled to stay on the right side of red card offences.

The Bees almost grabbed the lead through a fine move on their left but when the overlapping Dickson fed Charlie MacDonald his shot was weak and saved by Gueret.

Szczesny saved from Peter Leven and Randall lashed over before Wilbraham fired a snap shot well over.

Leon Legge headed wide just before the break and although Leven had a shot blocked early in the second half, Brentford took a firm grip on the game.

Gueret held a low Kevin O'Connor free kick, Dickson had a shot blocked after darting into the box and picking up a MacDonald lay off and Strevens had a shot saved.

But, against the run of play, The Dons got the next goal - Luke Chadwick exchanged passes with Wilbraham and darted into the box, he brushed past Phillips and went down, referee Mike Russell pointed straight to the spot and Easter placed his kick low to the left of Szczesny.

But Brentford came straight back - showing character in abundance.

MacDonald almost equalised within minutes with a fine turn and shot but Gueret turned it away and Wood was forced to nod a Dean Lewington header away from almost on his goal line on a rare MK foray forward.

With 20 minutes left The Bees levelled it again - Wood won the ball in midfield and set MacDonald away on the right, he picked out Myles Weston with a cross but Gueret produced a magnificent save to deny him, only for the wide man to nod it back towards goal again and Strevens made sure from close range.

The Bees looked like the only team that really wanted to win it, MK resorting to stopping the home side by fair means or foul, with Dickson a particular target, and time wasting whenever possible.

The Bees had claims for a penalty turned down by the inconsistent Mr Russell when MacDonald was manhandled in the area and Gueret made a brilliant save from a Tommy Smith header when the defender met a Strevens nod back - the New Zealand international headed almost straight at the Dons' stopper when anywhere else would have seen the net bulge.

Stevens was just unable to turn in a Dickson free kick and Cort came within a whisker of scoring with his first touch when Gueret turned an O'Connor free kick straight on to his head - it looped up and hit the top of the bar before bouncing over.

MK had been almost shot-less in the last twenty minutes - Wilbraham had one effort that hit the top tier of the Brook Road stand - but cruelly regained the lead in stoppage time.

Another Tunnicliffe long throw was cleared back to him and when the ball came back in Szczesny could only get a hand to it, it fell into a gaggle of players and rolled into the net - Wilbraham seemed to be claiming it but Phillips may have got the final touch.

Yet still Brentford weren't beaten, Dickson hurled a throw into the box in the fourth minutes of stoppage time, Phillips flicked on and Cort controlled and steered an effort into the back of the net from close range.

It was the least Brentford deserved.

Brentford: Szczesny; Phillips, Legge, Smith, Dickson; Wood, O'Connor, Diagouraga, Weston, Strevens (sub Cort 89 mins), MacDonald

Subs (not used): Price, Foster, Hunt, Bean, Saunders, Ainsworth

Bookings: Phillips (53 mins) (fourth of season), Dickson (60 mins) (fourth of season), Strevens (74 mins) (second of season)

Milton Keynes Dons: Gueret; Woodards (sub Doumbe 79 mins), McCracken, Tunnicliffe, Lewington; Randall (sub Gleeson 59 mins), Leven, Carrington; Easter (sub Morgan 82 mins), Wilbraham, Chadwick

Subs (not used): O'Hanlon, Gobern, Davis, Howell

Bookings: Randall (39 mins), Woodards (76 mins), Easter (80 mins)

Attendance: 5,209

By Chris Wickham

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