All square at Griffin Park
The division’s in-form teams played out a 0-0 New Year’s Day draw at Griffin Park.
Brentford went in to the first game of 2013 unbeaten in 11 npower League One matches while visitors AFC Bournemouth had not lost in 15 in all competitions.
The teams showed why they were among the league leaders but could not find a way to score the crucial goal.
With two teams going so well at the top of the division, it was no surprise to see a tight first half hour.
There was no shortage of quality on show but the teams were evenly matched and cancelled each other out.
Both tried to play out from the back but hard working front players reduced the options available and longer balls were the result.
Wes Fogden fizzed an early ball across Brentford’s six-yard box while Adam Forshaw had a shot deflected wide and then, from the resulting corner, volleyed inches past the post.
A Harlee Dean header was easy for David James in the Bournemouth goal and Jonathan Douglas shot well wide before Jake Bidwell curled a free kick over the top.
Brentford were having more of the chances, if not necessarily more of the ball, but Simon Moore had to punch a corner out from underneath his crossbar and then saved from Marc Pugh.
Pugh had another shot well blocked soon after but The Bees started to get on top as half time approached.
James denied Marcello Trotta after the striker wriggled free in the penalty area and Tom Adeyemi’s follow-up was cleared.
Adeyemi then headed wide and a low Forshaw shot was a whisker wide of the far post.
Trotta headed over and then shot weakly at James as Brentford tried in vain to get themselves ahead before the break.
The Bees also started the second half well but had to rely on the woodwork, Moore and some brave defending to keep the visitors out.
The Brentford goalkeeper saved at the feet of Harry Arter after he almost latched on to a Brett Pitman flick and seconds later there was a scramble and a half in the home penalty area.
Charlie Daniels put in a wicked ball from the left that could not be cleared, Fogden’s shot was blocked miraculously by Tony Craig and when the ball dropped loose, Pugh’s shot was somehow diverted over the top by a combination of Moore and Dean.
From the resulting corner, Arter’s near post header was turned on to the crossbar by Moore when it bounced down, worryingly close to the line from a Brentford perspective, Logan smashed it away.
Pugh shot wide soon after and Pitman’s shot on the turn was blocked as the visitors pressed.
The game was end-to-end in the early stages of the second half – Adeyemi pulled a shot wide and a near post Forshaw shot was not far over.
Trotta had a shot blocked for The Bees but the clearer chances we restarting to come at the other end.
Pugh headed over from ten yards and when Lewis Grabban flew down the left, his cross was knocked back by Fogden and substitute Josh McQuoid knocked it wide from no more than eight yards.
Bournemouth had the upper hand in the later stages, without creating too many clear-cut openings.
Matt Tubbs turned a McQuoid cross over and Daniels missed the target with a long range free kick.
Toumani Diagouraga and Eunan O’Kane had late shots blocked at either end and Moore got down well to make a late save from McQuoid.
After four minutes stoppage time rookie referee Tim Robinson, who seemed to confuse all parties with which challenges he would let go and which he would penalise, brought proceedings to a close and both teams left with a point.
Brentford: Moore; Logan (sub Hodson 58 mins), Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas, Adeyemi; Donaldson, Forshaw (sub Diagouraga 75 mins), Forrester; Trotta (sub Hayes 78 mins)
Subs (not used): Lee, Kiernan, Reeves, Saunders
Bookings: Trotta (16 mins) (second of season)
AFC Bournemouth: James; Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels; Fogden, Arter, O’Kane, Pugh; Grabban (sub Tubbs 78 mins), Pitman (sub McQuoid 67 mins)
Subs (not used): Jalal, Partington, McDermott, Hughes, Fletcher
Attendance: 8,059 (1,435 away fans)
By Chris Wickham