|Brentford 1 Walsall 1|
One point, should have been 3
For the second weekend running Brentford let two valuable points slip away after they were unable to build on their first half dominance and let visitors Walsall in for an equaliser in the FA Cup rehearsal today at Griffin Park.
The first half display was slick, confident and skillful with a batch of chances created and wasted, the second far less so with the Bees playing far deeper and unable to create as much.
The bees though are a work in progress with three new loanees and the recovered Ben Strevens trying to assimilate themselves into the team. The defence was far more confident with the new Polish Keeper - and I am not even going to try to spell his name - excellent on his debut with a fantastic first half double save and he filled his defence with confidence.
Osborne was preferred to Bennett and Wilson in the centre and his new partnership with the dominant left sided central defender Pim Balkestein kept the dangerous Deeney and Brentford nemesis Darren Byfield largely at bay.
Wilson was excellent at right back until his missed header, following other mistakes further forward, let in the speedy Steve Jones for an undeserved equaliser midway through the second half.
After a shaky start Brentford went ahead when the speedy Weston outpaced his defender (another Weston!) and his perfect centre was headed in off the keeper and post by Strevens.
Brentford needed a second goal and should have had it within a minute when Bean set Weston away again but he was caught just before he could centre to the waiting Strevens.
Bostock's class was evident and his near post volley brought a good save from Ince.
The game turned after 54 minutes when Weston went off with a damaged hamstring - hopefully not a tear or pull - and the Bees, for all Wood's industry, never regained the initiative. The goal, although slightly against the run of play was not a total surprise.
Playing too deep, the Bees created little until with two minutes to go Balkestein's perfect curling cross was headed in powerfully by Strevens but the assistant's flag cut short the home jubilation.
A good performance in parts with skillful new young players on view. The future is looking brighter for Brentford, but this should have been three points in what was an excellent dress rehearsal for the FA Cup match next week when hopefully some of the loanees will be allowed to play.
Thanks to Greville Waterman and BIAS for the match report.
November 26, 2009