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Match Report


Posted Tue 30 Mar 10 at 23:20 PM


Charlie MacDonald scored twice as Brentford recorded their third win in four games - a 3-2 victory over Oldham Athletic.

The Bees recovered from conceding the first goal of the game, a superb strike from Pawel Abbott, to lead 3-1 midway through the second half thanks to MacDonald's brace and a first Brentford goal from Pim Balkestein.

And although Abbott struck his second of the evening to set up a grandstand finish The Bees saw out the match to take home the points.

And they probably just about deserved it, although Oldham started both halves well and finished with a flourish the difference in finishing was key.

The game had two ace marksmen in MacDonald and Abbott and both will go away from the evening with goals to treasure.

Abbott grabbed the first of the evening when he controlled a Dale Stephens ball forward, swivelled 15 yards out and rifled the ball past Wojciech Szczesny and into the top corner all in one movement.

It was a goal to grace any game on any stage but Brentford were left upset at a possible foul on Marcus Bean in the build up and an attempted clearance that hit referee Tony Bates and bounced back to an Oldham player.

Any frustration was soon put to bed as MacDonald matched Abbott's effort..

Lewis Grabban set it up with a delightful cross from the right, the ball was five feet off the floor and past MacDonald's right shoulder but he swivelled and in mid-air fired a volley back the way it came, across Darryl Flahavan and into the net.

The goal came at a vital time, Oldham had started well - Szczesny made an early save from a Kirk Millar shot and Leon Legge had turned a Kelvin Lomax cross inches past his own post - and threatened to take control.

The Bees had looked lively early on when they got Myles Weston on the ball, one cross caused consternation in the home defence and MacDonald toe-ended the ball across the face of goal, but Oldham switched their full backs to counter that danger and prior to MacDonald's goal Brentford were starting to look contained.

But following it they could have sewn the game up in five minutes.

A Bean volley was deflected inches wide and from the resulting David Hunt corner, Legge headed wide from four yards when it looked easier to score.

Stephens curled a free kick over for Oldham just before the break but in general it was a tight half enlivened by two superb goals.

That all changed after the break when Ben Strevens was brought on to partner MacDonald and the game opened up.

Oldham had the first chances, Abbott shot straight at Szczesny from 20 yards and then set Lewis Guy through with only the Polish goalkeeper to beat, but the Arsenal loanee stayed big and saved superbly with his right foot.

And that proved crucial as Brentford scored twice in three minutes midway through the second half.

Reuben Hazell conceded a cheap free kick for a foul on Strevens 30 yards out and Hunt curled it to the back post where Balkestein rose highest to head in from close range.

MacDonald had a header saved from a Grabban cross but made no mistake soon after to score what proved to be the winner.

The picked up the ball on the right side after a long Szczesny clearance eluded the home defence and cut inside, he got a lucky ricochet before slotting the ball home from 12 yards.

Grabban shot narrowly wide as Brentford looked for the killer fourth but as time ticked on Oldham threw more bodies forward.

Chris Taylor was within a whisker of pulling one back when he cut inside from the left and sent in a cross-cum-shot that Szczesny turned away superbly at full stretch.

Danny Whitaker lifted an effort over at full stretch and with eight minutes remaining Oldham pulled one back.

Taylor ran from deep and curled an effort that beat Szczesny all ends up but cannoned off the post, however, it fell straight to Abbott who turned it home.

MacDonald shot into the side netting after good work from Weston and Taylor curled an effort narrowly over at the other end.

In the dying stages Oldham threw more and more players forward and forced a succession of corners - Danny Foster made a crucial clearing header at the back post and Balkestein headed an Abbott effort off the line while Whitaker shot well over.

And Brentford should have sealed it when MacDonald broke free and fed Strevens on the edge of the box, his low shot was saved well down by Flahavan.

It proved not to matter, as the game ended seconds later and Brentford cemented their top half position and reached the 50 point mark with a win.

Oldham Athletic: Flahavan; Lomax (sub Eaves 72 mins), Hazell, Gregan, Lee; Millar (sub Smalley 74 mins), Stephens, Worthington (sub Whitaker 68 mins), Taylor; Guy, Abbott

Subs (not used): Brill, Black, Marrow, Colbeck

Brentford: Szczesny; O'Connor, Legge, Balkestein, Wood (sub Foster 87 mins); Grabban (sub Saunders 87 mins), Bean (sub Strevens h/t), Hunt, Diagouraga, Weston; MacDonald

Subs (not used): Price, Osborne, Blake, Cort

Bookings: O'Connor (22 mins) (fifth of season), Legge (67 mins) (third of season)

Attendance: 2,833 (104 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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