Brentford 1 Gillingham 1
Slowly but surely
Brentford are slowly inching their way towards the finishing line and the prize of a promotion place at the end of the season.
The Bees deserved no more than a point in a close game against promotion rivals Gillingham but the draw maintains the 6 point gap between the 2 teams.
Brentford never really got going today and a new formation which saw MacDonald and Sam Williams up front with Billy Clarke and Sam Wood rotating on each wing never really gelled.
Conditions were poor with a blustery wind and intermittent showers and the ball spent most of the first half up in the air with little cohesive football played by either team.
Neither keeper was troubled before unexpectedly the Bees took the lead four minutes before half time when David Hunt's fierce free kick from 20 yards seared through a poorly placed Gills wall into the top corner.
Gillingham almost equalised from the restart but Jackson's goal was ruled out for a push on Bennett.
Gillingham took the game to Brentford after the interval, McCammon missed horribly - now where have we heard that before - before the tricky Barcham took the ball past Clarke into the area, invited a foul from Karleigh Osborne which duly came, - no complaints there, and Jackson put away the kick.
The game was more even from that point on, Clarke hit a 25 yard screamer a yard wide, a nice move saw Charlie shoot across the goal and in the final flurry, Gary Smith, who looked composed when he came on and Sam Wood shot narrowly over the bar.
Darren Powell also made an appearance late on to combat McCammon and Damien Spencer looked a handful after he replaced Williams.
The injury jinx struck again when deep in injury time MacDonald went down with what could well be a dislocated collarbone, potentially another one gone for the season when we can least afford it.
David Hunt was the best player for the Bees today but hopefully the calming influence of Kevin O'Connor will return at Bradford next week.
We should still make it but we are nursing lots of bumps and bruises along the way.
Brentford: Hamer; Osborne, Phillips (sub Powell 86 mins), Bennett, Dickson; Wood, Hunt, Bean, Clarke (sub Smith 74 mins); MacDonald, S. Williams (sub Spencer 69 mins) ... Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Halls
Thanks to Greville Waterman and BIAS for the match report
March 29, 2009