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Match Report


Posted Sat 11 Sep 10 at 16:59 PM


Brentford endured a frustrating afternoon as they were held to a 0-0 draw by ten-man Bristol Rovers.

The teams matched up well at the start of the match, battling in all areas of the pitch, and in the first half there were few clear cut chances.

But The Bees were completely dominant after the break and it took a series of fine saves from Rovers goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen to keep the score line blank.

John Akinde, who's power caused the Brentford defence problems early on, had the first sight of goal but shot wide at the near post after a neat turn early on while Michael Spillane had a shot blocked.

Will Hoskins volleyed over for Rovers before Myles Weston went close with a low shot that flew inches wide of Andersen's near post.

The game was turning into a bit of a battle by the half hour - both Karleigh Osborne and Pim Balkestein needed treatment for head injuries while Rovers defender James Tunnicliffe had to change his shirt because it was covered in blood.

Referee Scott Mathieson was struggling to keep a lid on the match, with tackles flying in, particularly from the home side.

He booked three players in the first half, and could have shown at least two more cards.

And the constant whistling was disrupting the flow of the game - Gary Alexander had a weak effort saved while Ben Hamer gathered a lofted Jo Kuffour effort and saved at the feet of Hoskins.

Charlie MacDonald attempted a repeat of his winning goal against Sheffield Wednesday but volleyed over and Osborne headed a well worked corner wide.

Hamer had to be alert to keep out a low Kuffour shot late in the first period before Hoskins had a shot blocked and Akinde and Stuart Campbell saw weak efforts drift wide.

Both teams would have been reasonably happy at the break to be level but would have expected their players to move through the gears after the re-start.

It was The Bees who did so - dominating the second period.

A curling shot from Weston was turned away at full stretch by Andersen before Alexander volleyed over from the edge of the area.

A Weston cross-cum-shot drifted inches wide of the far post and then curled an effort just past the far post.

At the other end, Kuffour had a shot blocked but the match was veering towards an explosion with many strong challenges, particularly in the Brentford defensive third.

Nicky Adams could have marked his first league start for The Bees with a goal after a nice turn gave him a shooting chance but Andersen saved and Alexander had a header blocked soon after.

Rovers were reduced to attacking on the break but Balkestein had to be alert to block a Kuffour shot on a rare foray forward.

The sending off that had been threatening eventually came with 20 minutes remaining when Gary Sawyer was dismissed for a second yellow card - the second a very high challenge on Spillane.

That only served to eliminate the little attacking threat from the home team - The Bees were by now completely dominant and it was just a matter of whether they could score.

Andersen made a superb save from a powerful Alexander header and right back Carl Regan made a last ditch tackle when Weston looked set to shoot from ten yards.

Alexander and Spillane headed wide and MacDonald toe-poked over the bar when a Craig Woodman cross reached him seven yards out.

Former Bee Wayne Brown almost snatched it for the hosts with a lofted shot that drifted narrowly over.

Andersen made the save of the afternoon with seconds remaining, turning away an Adams shot and Weston fired over soon after.

But the breakthrough would not come and The Bees had to settle for a point.

Bristol Rovers: Andersen; Regan, Anthony, Tunnicliffe, Sawyer; Hoskins (sub Brown 72 mins), Lines, Campbell, Hughes; Akinde, Kuffour

Subs (not used): Green, Richards, Reece, Clough, Pell, Swallow

Bookings: Akinde (30 mins), Lines (38 mins), Sawyer (61 mins)

Sent Off: Sawyer (70 mins) (second booking)

Brentford: Hamer; Spillane, Osborne, Balkestein, Woodman; Adams, Diagouraga, O'Connor, Weston; MacDonald, Alexander

Subs (not used): Lee, McCracken, Blake, Saunders, Bean, Wood, Forster

Bookings: Osborne (19 mins)

Attendance: 5,609 (456 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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