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Match Report


Posted Fri 09 Oct 09 at 23:20 PM


Brentford put in a solid performance as they came away from a Friday night trip to Hartlepool United with a point and a clean sheet.

The Bees defence held firm in the face of a strong wind, driving rain and the home attack to give Nikki Bull his first clean sheet in a Brentford shirt.

But the home defence - marshalled by the excellent Sam Collins - limited Brentford to few chances going forward and a goal less draw looked likely early on.

It was a game of few openings as Collins' quality was matched by Danny Foster, Ryan Dickson, Alan Bennett and Mark Phillips at the other end of the pitch with Kevin O'Connor and Marcus Bean forming an almost impenetrable field in front of them.

An early goal would have lead to a different evening and it was Brentford who came closest when a curling Sam Saunders free kick was pushed out by Scott Flinders low to his right.

Hartlepool had the wind in the first half but many of their balls forward were too strong and ran straight through to Bull.

The Brentford stopper saved from an Adam Boyd snap shot when the hosts did put a move together and Flinders had to be alert at the other end to keep out a Sam Wood shot that took a deflection off Collins.

The best chance of the first half fell to Boyd when Bull failed to get distance on a punch from a James Brown cross but as the ball dropped the Bees' keeper dived out and diverted the striker's shot over.

Andy Monkhouse shot wide and Denis Behan fired an acrobatic effort over as Dickson failed to deal with a cross.

Brentford ended the half in the ascendency - Charlie MacDonald diverted a Wood cross-cum-shot over the top, Flinders saved a Carl Cort header while at the other end a Behan snap shot flew wide from a tight angle.

The Bees almost grabbed the lead at the end of the half when Cort and MacDonald worked the ball wide to Wood but his shot was cleared by Collins with Flinders looking unlikely to save.

Boys shot wide early in the second half and Behan missed a good chance when he robbed Phillips and raced free but Bennett was quickly across and the shot was rushed and well off target.

Saunders curled a left footed effort wide and Flinders saved from Bean after the midfielder robbed Richie Humphreys.

Bull saved from headers from Brown and Gary Liddle and Saunders fired a volley over from 12 yards at the other end.

MacDonald thought he had the opening goal when he met a brilliant Dickson cross but his header was deflected wide by Liddle.

Collins had a header cleared by O'Connor and Armann Bjornsson headed wide as Hartlepool looked for a winner and Cort nearly found Saunders with a smart lay-off in stoppage time but Liddle cleared again to ensure the game ended all square.

Hartlepool United: Flinders; Austin, Collins, Liddle, Hartley; Brown, Sweeney, Humphreys, Monkhouse; Behan (sub Larkin 72 mins), Boyd (sub Bjornsson 72 mins)

Subs (not used): Cook, McSweeney, Jones, Haslam, Fredriksen

Brentford: Bull; Foster, Phillips (sub Osborne 77 mins), Bennett, Dickson; Saunders, Bean, O'Connor, Wood (sub Weston 85 mins); Cort, MacDonald

Subs (not used): Moore, Ferrell, Blake, Taylor, Kabba

Attendance: 3,105 (146 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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