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Match Report


Posted Thu 16 Sep 10 at 12:04 PM


Brentford's season ended with a goalless Griffin Park draw against relegation-threatened Hartlepool United.

The Bees had the better of it, particularly in the second half when they played all the football on show.

But they couldn't get the break through and it ended all square.

Hartlepool came into the game with much to play for - largely due to a three-point deduction imposed this week for playing Gary Liddle against Brighton and Hove Albion on Easter Monday when he was suspended.

And the north east side showed plenty of ambition in a first half that was scrappy and stop-start, not helped by a strange refereeing performance by Danny McDermid.

David Hunt had the first effort on goal from 25 yards but it flew well wide, Hartlepool's Sam Collins went a little closer at the other end with a flicked hjeader from a Ritchie Humphreys free kick that flew just wide.

Wojciech Szczesny made a comfortable save from Adam Boyd and then had a tip over a shot from the same player after a good turn.

From the resulting corner, Sam Wood had to clear a Collins header off the line and Boyd shot thye re-bound narrowly over.

The Bees began to take control after the visitors' bright start - Ben Strevens had a header saved and they had what appeared a stonewall penalty turned down when Leon Legge was pulled down by Collins when trying to reach a Hunt free kick, but Mr McDermid waved away the appeals.

Legge headed over soon after before the half ended in a slightly nasty manner - Roy O'Donovan was booked for an elbow on Wood and McSweeney followed him into Mr McDermid's notebook for a high tackle on Charlie MacDonald while Hunt was booked for his reaction to that tackle.

Hunt nearly broke th deadlock before the break with a low free kick wahich forced a save from Scott Flinders.

The second period started with a sickening looking clash of heads between Legge and Neil Austin which saw the Brentford defender replaced by Mark Phillips and Austin play the rest of the match with a massive bandage on his head.

But the game did improve after the break - and Brentford were on top.

A Wood shot landed on the roof of the net from a tight angle and Kevin O'Connor fired narrowly over from 20 yards when Flinders could only punch a free kick.

Flinders kept his team level with a flying save high to his left from a Myles Weston shot from 25 yards and they nearly went ahead soon after.

A Joe Gamble free kick reached Andy Monkhouse at the far post, his looping header cleared Szczesny but captain O'Connor was in the right place to clear off the line.

Phillips had a header saved for Brentford before a Wood slip let in substitute Ritchie Jones on the right side of the box - he looked set to score but Szczesny saved superbly and then gathered he re-bound.

Ryan Dickson came on for the last 15 minjutes after his return from a hamstring injury and Brentford continued to search for a winner.

Weston almost got one when he burst into the box on the right side and fired the ball across the face of goal and O'Connor shot over soon after.

Hartlepool were nervously dropping deeper and deeper, hanging on to the point that would preserve their League One status.

Denis Behan fired acrobatically over for them but their forays forward were few and far between, although Monkhouse did manage to get himself booked for diving on one dart into the box.

Simon Moore was brought on for his Brentford debut, allowing the Griffin Park faithful to give Szczesny a rousing send off, but he was a virtual spectator with the action at the other end.

But The Bees couldn't create the killer chance and had to settle for a point.

Brentford: Szczesny (sub Moore 90 mins); Foster, Legge (sub Phillips 51 mins), Osborne, Wood; Hunt (sub Dickson 74 mins), O'Connor, Diagouraga, Weston; MacDonald, Strevens

Subs (not used): Ferrell, Franks, Blake, Bean

Bookings: Hunt (45 mins) (third of season)

Hartlepool United: Flinders; Austin, Collins, Liddle, Hartley; McSweeney (sub Jones 69 mins), Gamble (sub Sweeney 90 mins), Humphreys, Monkhouse; O'Donovan, Boyd (sub Behan 75 mins)

Subs (not used): Cook, Clark, Haslam, Bjornsson

Bookings: O'Donovan (36 mins), McSweeney (45 mins), Monkhouse (80 mins), Behan (90 mins)

Attendance: 6,893 (478 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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