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6 April 2013

Bees pick up away point

Harry Forrester scored a second half equaliser as Brentford earned a point on their first ever visit to Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena.

The Bees fell behind on their first trip to Coventry for nearly 40 years as the home side were awarded a disputed penalty at the end of the first period.

But Forrester turned home a Clayton Donaldson cross to equalise immediately after the re-start to draw Brentford level.

The visitors had the better of the second period, after an even first half, and had chances to win it but could not find a way through.

Brentford started brightly, they took control of the game in the early stages and pressed the home side back.

They matched up with five men in midfield and Donaldson occupied the defence, preventing Coventry getting any meaningful possession.

Forrester fired an early free kick in to a defensive wall and Lee Hodson had a shot blocked as Brentford looked to make the advantage count.

They almost went ahead 17 minutes in when an Adam Forshaw cross deflected across goal and Coventry goalkeeper Joe Murphy just managed to divert it away from Forrester.

After a slow start, Coventry started to get a foothold in midfield and therefore in the game.

They were able to create space in the centre of the pitch and get their wide players involved.

Simon Moore made a low save from a Steven Jennings shot before Carl Baker fired over.

The Bees had a lucky escape midway through the first half when Coventry came close three times within a matter of seconds.

First Moore got down well to turn away a Jennings volley before Baker’s back post header, after Franck Moussa had put the ball back in, was cleared off the line by Harlee Dean, the Brentford central defender then threw his body in the way of a fierce Callum Wilson shot.

The game was eventually halted, to Brentford’s relief, when Wilson went down and referee Scott Mathieson decided he had dived and gave the visitors a free kick.

The game went in to a slight lull after that action but came alive again as half time approached.

Brentford were within a whisker of going in front when Forrester lifted a ball forward, Donaldson got between the central defenders and lifted the ball over the onrushing Murphy, the ball beat the goalkeeper but took a wicked bounce off a cut up pitch and dribbled wide.

Jonathan Douglas headed a Forshaw cross inches wide seconds later but the home side ended the half well, and got themselves in front.

Moore saved a curling shot from Moussa and then a header from the same man while Tony Craig blocked from Wilson.

But the home side did break through just before half time, albeit in controversial circumstances.

They won a free kick on the right and delivered it to the back post where Dean and Richard Wood tussled in the same way players do at every set piece.

Martin threw himself down and Mr Mathieson pointed to the penalty spot from his position 15 yards away.

Baker stepped up and sent Moore the wrong way from the spot to put Coventry in front.

But that lead lasted just 50 seconds of the second half.

Donaldson proved too strong for Wood in the inside right channel and broke free, his cross was missed by Forshaw but not by Forrester who smashed it in to the back of the net.

There were few chances in the early stages of the second half, apart from Forrester’s goal.

A John Fleck shot almost caught Moore out with a wicked bounce but the Brentford goalkeeper saved with his face and at the other end when a corner was half cleared, Donaldson fired in a shot that Wood cleared inside his six-yard box.

Coventry scrambled a Jake Bidwell free kick away when Dean had a shot blocked and Moore saved from Baker at the other end.

But as the end came closer, Brentford started to take control and sought a winner

Donaldson headed a Bidwell cross wide and Tom Adeyemi fired over from long range.

Brentford laid siege to the Coventry goal in the later stages, forcing a series of corners.

Donaldson fired straight at Murphy after good work by Bradley Wright-Phillips and the goalkeeper saved a curling Sam Saunders free kick soon after.

Craig headed a Saunders corner over in the dying stages but the best chance fell to Donaldson.

Saunders put the ball in to the box, Adeyemi headed down and Donaldson smashed a shot on the turn over the crossbar from close range.

Coventry City: Murphy; Christie, Martin, Wood, Haynes; Jennings; Baker, Bailey (sub Bell 65 mins), Fleck, Moussa (sub McDonald 74 mins); Wilson

Subs (not used): Dunn, Clarke, Thomas, Ball, Edjenguele

Bookings: Wilson (23 mins), Fleck (57 mins)

Brentford: Moore; Hodson (sub Wright-Phillips 72 mins), Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Logan, Douglas (sub Diagouraga h/t), Adeyemi, Forrester (sub Saunders 78 mins); Forshaw; Donaldson

Subs (not used): Gounet, O’Connor, Reeves, Trotta

Bookings: Craig (44 mins) (fifth of season), Dean (45 mins) (eighth of season), Forshaw (48 mins) (fifth of season), Saunders (90 mins) (sixth of season)

Attendance: 10,642 (1,649 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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