Brentford 3 Wycombe Wanderers 3
A roller coaster match for over 10,000 supporters.
Football was the winner at Griffin Park when first met second and after an epic battle Brentford and Wycombe had to settle for a share of the spoils after a 3-3 draw.
Over 10,000 fans, the highest home league gate since the Reading Championship decider nearly 7 years ago left Griffin Park breathless but enthused after an afternoon of high entertainment and drama and no little skill too.
Both sets of fans will settle for the draw which does neither side any harm as the promotion battle heats up but Brentford will think that but for some uncharacteristic poor defending they would surely have come out on top.
It all started so well with Jordan Rhodes scoring for the first time in 5 games bundling in a second minute David Hunt corner after the ball rebounded to him off Alan Bennett.
The Bees played fine flowing football with Wood and Hunt, deputising for the injured O'Connor always prominent but the defense creaked when put under pressure and John Akinde, making his debut after his loan move from Bristol City equalised with a firm header from a Docherty cross.
Hunt was excellent and played a pivotal role in the match on his full debut and he scored wihen his free kick from out on the left saw keeper Stech distracted by Bennett's late run and the ball flew straight in. MacDonald headed just over and was denied a penalty by an offside flag after being tripped but the Bees couldn't hold on until half time with John Mousinho returning like the proverbial bad penny to score from close range after a corner and a couple of undetected pushes in the area.
The reason for Brett Johnson's appearance on the bench became self-evident when he replaced the struggling Ryan Dickson at the interval but he was caught cold and dispossesses by the speedy Akinde who made a run for ball and scored emphatically at the near post for a well taken but badly defended goal.
Wycombe's giants looked like holding on but midfield tiger Tommy Doherty saw red for putting his hand in Hunt's face and the last 20 minutes were backs to the wall for the Blues as the Bees took control.
Woods and Halls kept bombing forward, Williams replaced Newton and the substitute eventually equalised with a well placed low shot for his first Bees goal in the goal where he had missed so horribly on Tuesday - this was a far more important goal as the Bees set seige to the goal but despite the keeper making a fine save from his own defender and an abotive claim for a penalty the game finished as a draw.
Given the results elsewhere dropping 2 points has done the Bees little harm but today the performance was excellent, the energy was restored and promotion is surely on the way.
The only worry is the apparent injury to Ryan Dickson as with Elder gone for the season and O'Connor also out the Bees cannot afford another injury to a key player.
Brentford: Hamer; Halls, Phillips, Bennett, Dickson (sub Johnson h/t); Newton (sub S. Williams 69 mins), Hunt, Bean, Wood; MacDonald, Rhodes
Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Osborne, Smith
Thanks to Greville Waterman and BIAS for the match report
March 17, 2009