Playoffs achieved, but promotion not yet certain
Brentford continue to crawl towards the finish line and the Nirvana of promotion as Billy Clarke's last gasp equaliser gave them a point in a game which they dominated from start to finish yet barely escaped with a draw.
Watching Brentford is tough on the nerves and today was no exception as a long afternoon of frustration ended with that late equaliser and the Bees still clinging onto top spot in the table.
The team news was depressing with O'Connor not recovered from injury and Bean and Wood also absent apparently with illness. This led to a shift to a 4-3-3 formation with Halls partnering Smith and Hunt in midfield with Spencer, Marvin Williams and Clarke up front.
It was all Brentford at first with Hunt running the game from midfield and going close with a couple of free kicks. Spencer too had a well placed shot saved at the last moment and a header pushed wide before Bennett headed narrowly past the post. It was all Bees early on but on 38 minutes the defence evaporated and Fleetwood, apparently a Brentford target in the past, raced through and scored in splendid isolation.
Osborne missed a chance straight away when Keeper Jones mishandled and the half ended with Brentford amazingly behind.
The second half commenced like the first with Bees on top and Mr East gave them a potential lifleline when he adjudged that Clarke's fierce volley had been handled by a defender but Clarke's penalty was as soft as the decision and Jones saved easily.
The chances kept coming and Marvin Williams contrived to shoot over the bar from right underneath it.
Spencer became the fourth Brentford striker to be stetchered off in the last few weeks and with Sam Williams and Glenn Poole struggling to make things happen , heads went down and the game drifted towards its unsatisfactory conclusion until in the 90th minute David Hunt, who surely should have taken the penalty and put his foot through it, put in a low centre that the reprieved Clarke bundled over the line.
Brentford had got out of jail and the torment continues.
Thanks to Greville Waterman and BIAS for the match report
April 12, 2009