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Match Report

 

Posted Fri 02 Apr 10 at 22:53 PM

MILLWALL 1 BRENTFORD 1

Brentford held promotion-chasing Millwall to a draw in south London as the home side struck a late equaliser to share the spoils.

The Bees lead through a controversial Carl Cort goal at half time - after the home side dominated the opening stages - but Millwall skipper Paul Robinson earned his side a draw with a header.

In truth, a point was the least the home side deserved but The Bees were very competitive against their high-flying hosts and had enough of the game to feel their point was not unfair.

The home side started the game superbly and for the first 20 minutes looked as if they were going to roll over their west London opponents.

They looked every inch the promotion candidates they are and full of confidence as befit a team who came into the game having won 11 of their last 13 matches.

Although Charlie MacDonald had the first sight of goal - a low shot after a nice turn, easily saved by David Forde - most of the play was in the Brentford defensive third.

Steve Morison was the first man denied by Wojciech Szczesny - he latched onto an Alan Dunne ball and got in behind the defence, the Polish goalkeeper started to come before holding his position and superbly making himself big to block the shot.

The next effort came when Neil Harris found space on the left, his cross eluded Morison but Liam Trotter pounced, only for Pim Balkestein to block brilliantly - appeals for a penalty as he landed on the ball, possibly handling it, were waved away.

Harris went even closer soon after with a delightful curling ship from an acute angle that cannoned off the inside of the post and away.

Ryan Dickson limped off soon after for The Bees and a head injury to MacDonald - that saw him end the match with a large bandage - caused a delay in the game that took the sting out of matters.

Following that, the game became more even, Morison headed wide for The Lions and then brought a save out of Szczesny with a low shot while MacDonald had a weak shot saved by Forde at the other end.

Just past the half hour Brentford took the lead in controversial circumstances - after a battle on the right Karleigh Osborne fed the ball through to Cort, who appeared offside, as the home players and fans appealed the Bees striker finished it off and as the flag stayed down the goal was given.

Soon after, The Bees lost Kevin O'Connor to injury - the first game this season he has not finished - and Millwall came back strong.

Liam Trotter had a header deflected wide and Morison had one blocked soon after before Chris Hackett shot narrowly wide from distance.

But The Bees could have ended the half two up - MacDonald burst into space on the break and attacked the penalty area, he fed it to Myles Weston but as he prepared to shoot it looked like he was pushed by Alan Dunne but nothing was given by referee Paul Taylor and the chance had gone.

The home side - desperate for the points to boost their push for the top two - came out after the break and searched for an equaliser, but they didn't create much.

Szczesny saved a curling Trotter effort and then pushed over a near post Danny Schofield shot before Robinson headed over.

And Brentford were dangerous on the break - it took a superb Robinson tackle to deny MacDonald after he turned in the box and Weston brought a low save out of Forde after a nice run, although he could have fed Cort in space on the right.

Toumani Diagouraga made a superb block from a Morison shot and Harris was unable to force in when a corner dropped loose in the box.

Cort shot wide for Brentford as the game lurched from end to end and substitute Lionel Ainsworth was causing the home defence problems with his pace.

Just when it seemed Brentford had weathered the Millwall storm the home side struck - Szczesny saved superbly from a Shaun Batt volley but from the corner Tony Craig curled it to the far post and Robinson arrived to head in.

Szczesny saved from Morison soon after while at the other end Ainsworth had a shot deflect inches wide and then screwed an effort across the face of goal as the game opened up.

Dunne blazed wide and Morison miss-hit a volley as Millwall looked for a winner before Batt headed off target from a Schofield cross.

The Bees were dangerous on the break as the game ticked on but had to defend a series of balls into their box.

With their central defenders outstanding and Szczesny commanding they saw the game out and the high-quality London derby ended level.

Millwall: Forde; Dunne, Ward, Robinson, Craig; Hackett (sub Batt 70 mins), Abdou, Trotter, Schofield; Harris, Morison

Subs (not used): Sullivan, Frampton, Barron, Smith, Laird, Obika

Bookings: Trotter (35 mins), Dunne (58 mins)

Brentford: Szczesny; Osborne, Legge, Balkestein, Dickson (sub Wood 18 mins); Bean, O'Connor (sub Hunt 34 mins) Diagouraga, Weston; MacDonald (sub Ainsworth 70 mins), Cort

Subs (not used): Price, Foster, Saunders, Strevens

Bookings: Osborne (10 mins) (second of season), Weston (71 mins) (second of season), Bean (90 mins) (ninth of season)

Attendance: 14,025 (935 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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