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Match Report


Posted Tue 26 Jan 10 at 21:44 PM


The heroics of Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis denied Brentford a home win as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against the big-spending Saints.

The well-built goalkeeper produced a string of fine saves, including one from a Kevin O'Connor penalty, to enable the south coast side to leave with a point, when The Bees had the chances to take all three.

Lloyd James scored the games' opening goal in its embryonic stages and try as Brentford might they could find no way past Davis to level it up until Leon Legge headed in with seven minutes left.

The visitors started superbly and could have been ahead even before James gave them a fourth minute lead.

Michail Antonio came within a whisker of opening the scoring inside the first 90 seconds when he latched onto a Lee Barnard ball and lofted it over the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny, he beat the Polish stopper but the ball landed wide of the target.

The Saints did not have to wait long, however, for their goal - Rickie Lambert fed the ball into the path of James who lashed an 18-yard thunderbolt over Szczesny and into the net.

Antonio blasted into the side netting soon after before James curled an effort against the crossbar.

But after a tricky first 15 to 20 minutes Brentford began to grow into the game.

Charlie MacDonald could have equalised when he turned a Ryan Dickson cross narrowly wide at the near post and Marcus Bean failed to get a good connection on a shot from 15 yards soon after.

Szczesny had to save well low to his right from a low Antonio shot and Barnard headed wide as half time approached and Southampton sought to put the game to bed.

But just before the break it was Brentford who piled on the pressure and would argue they created enough to be level.

Dickson headed a Wood corner wide before Davis made a fine save low to his left to keep out an O'Connor shot.

A Tommy Smith header was deflected wide from another Wood corner in first half stoppage time and The Bees started the second period positively but Southampton should have been two up in the 50th minute.

Barnard was the guilty party, he raced onto a long ball and got between Legge and Smith but blasted wide with only Szczesny to beat.

That was the start of a crazy two minutes when both teams could, and indeed should, have scored.

The first chance fell to MacDonald, who shot low when he latched on to a Dickson ball but Davis saved low to his left.

Seconds later Ben Strevens and Danny Foster combined to feed Myles Weston 12 yards out but his shot was turned away by Davis and from the resulting corner a Bean volley was cleared off the line by Joseph Mills.

Szczesny almost presented Lambert with a goal when his clearance was half blocked by Barnard and fell to the dangerous marksman, the goal was gaping but his 45-yard effort flew well wide.

He went a little closer with a curling free kick soon after but still failed for force Szczesny into a save.

Adam Lallana did bring him into action with a curling effort that was well saved by the Polish goalkeeper to his left.

But the majority of the action was at the other end - Davis made a brilliant low save to keep out a shot from substitute Sam Saunders and MacDonald fired the re-bound against the post from a tight angle.

The golden chance came with 20 minutes remaining when a penalty was awarded for handball against Paul Wotton, who was adjudged to have used his arm to block a Bean cross.

O'Connor fired his spot kick low to the right of Davis but he got down to turn it away and preserve his team's lead.

Foster fired over for Brentford from distance soon after while Lallana headed wide at the other end and an acrobatic Lambert effort drifted wide.

The Bees must have felt it was not going to be their night, particularly when a corner was nodded down to MacDonald three yards out and his header was again saved miraculously by Davis.

But Southampton failed to clear and Dickson had time to measure a cross which was met powerfully by Legge, and he gave Davis no chance from close range.

Both teams attacked looking for a winner, Southampton abandoning the largely defensive outlook they employed for most of the second half.

Legge had another header saved by Davis in stoppage time and Szczesny turned away a Lallana free kick in the dying seconds but the killer goal would not come and for the second time this season the teams shared the spoils.

Brentford: Szczesny; Foster, Legge, Smith, Dickson; Wood (sub Saunders 56 mins), Bean, O'Connor, Weston; MacDonald, Strevens (sub Cort 56 mins)

Subs (not used): Price; Osborne, Bennett, Diagouraga, Hunt

Bookings: Dickson (90 mins) (third of season)

Southampton: Davis; Otsemobor, Fonte, Seaborne, Mills; Antonio (sub Papa Waigo 88 mins), Wotton, James (sub Schneiderlin 35 mins), Lallana; Lambert, Barnard (sub Holmes 78 mins)

Subs (not used): Bialkowski, Harding, Thomas, Jaidi

Bookings: Wotton (70 mins)

Attendance: 6,501 (1,783 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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