A point apiece at Griffin Park
Brentford and Leyton Orient shared the points on a freezing Griffin Park evening in a match of high controversy.
Martin Rowlands struck a sublime opener for the visitors but Paul Hayes levelled it up within ten minutes and Clayton Donaldson’s 19th goal of the season put The Bees in front before half time.
Jake Bidwell was sent off for a second bookable offence just before the hour mark and Simon Moore made a penalty save to live long in the memory as Orient were repelled.
But Lee Cook struck a late equaliser for the visitors to give the East London side a point in a 2-2 draw.
The Bees should have been in front within 35 seconds – Moses Odubajo played a suicidal ball across his defence and Adam Forshaw nipped in, the midfield player skipped past Ben Chorley but, with only Jamie Jones to beat, put the ball wide of the target.
Despite that chance, Orient probably started better, they had a lot of the ball in the opening ten minutes and pressed forward.
David Mooney had an early shot blocked but their goal was still a bolt from the blue.
Rowlands lined up a free kick 35 yards from goal and struck a wicked dipping and swerving effort that gave Moore no chance and ended in the top corner.
The only sour point was the celebration of the former Brentford man who ran the length of the pitch mocking Bees fans as he went.
Brentford struggled to go through the gears, although Lee Hodson shot wide when a free kick was half cleared, but they levelled just past the quarter hour.
Sam Saunders delivered a corner, Donaldson headed down and Hayes reacted as Orient defenders dithered to poke home.
That may have been slightly unjust on Orient and they probably had the better of the half as it wore on.
However, Orient used a lot of possession for few chances and Brentford were incisive with their share of the ball.
Forshaw shot wide after nice interplay in the Orient half and Hodson had a shot blocked.
Tony Craig made a vital block from a goal bound Odubajo shot at the other end and Jimmy Smith shot over after being set up by Cook.
Rowlands shot over and Moore made a vital punch off the head of Mathieu Baudry when a corner was half cleared.
But Brentford got the upper hand as half time approached and got themselves ahead.
Jones did well to palm away a fierce Saunders free kick but when the wide man delivered the resulting corner, Hayes got ahead of the goalkeeper, the first shot was blocked on the line by Odubajo but Donaldson pounced to lash in.
That gave The Bees a boost going in to half time and they could have made the game safe by the break.
Dean headed wide and with the last touch of the half a Craig header was deflected over the bar from point blank range.
But Moore also had to make a fine save from a Mooney volley to keep The Bees ahead at the end of the first period.
Brentford had a penalty appeal waved away early in the second by referee Paul Tierney, who was soon to take a bigger role, and Hayes shot wide after breaking away in midfield.
Dean blocked a Charlie MacDonald shot before Jones made a super save to keep out a Donaldson volley after the striker had linked well with Tom Adeyemi and Hayes on the edge of the penalty area.
The game swung in Orient’s favour when Mr Tierney booked Bidwell for an innocuous looking challenge on Smith and, having earlier booked him for kicking the ball away, dismissed the left back for a second cautionable offence.
Scott Barron was brought on for Adeyemi, and Toumani Diagouraga and Shaleum Logan followed soon after, as Brentford looked to see the game out – while still attacking when they could.
The extra man did not give Orient a decisive advantage, but Brentford were busier in defence.
Moore kept out a Mooney header before a Smith shot was scrambled away and the same player was unable to convert a Cook cross at the far post.
Douglas and Hayes missed the target for The Bees and a Mooney header deflected over before Mr Tierney made another decision that seemed as if it would be crucial.
MacDonald backed in to Hodson and went down as he tried to turn and Mr Tierney pointed to the penalty spot.
Mooney stepped up but Moore made a wonderful save, diving low to his right to keep out the firmly struck penalty.
Saunders had a shot saved at the other end and Douglas blasted but Orient were having more of the territory.
Moore saved a MacDonald header and then a Gary Sawyer shot but he could do nothing to keep out a Cook shot that bounced in to the far corner from 22 yards.
Baudry headed wide for Orient but there were few chances after the equaliser and the points were shared.
Brentford: Moore; Hodson, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw, Douglas, Adeyemi (sub Barron 62 mins), Saunders (sub Diagouraga 75 mins); Hayes (sub Logan 69 mins), Donaldson
Subs (not used): Lee, Kiernan, Forrester, Trotta
Sent Off: Bidwell (58 mins) (second bookable offence)
Leyton Orient: Jones; Odubajo, Chorley, Baudry, Sawyer; Smith, Rowlands, James (sub Omozusi 70 mins), Cook; Mooney, MacDonald (sub Obafemi 80 mins)
Subs (not used): Griffith, Symes, Grainger, Lee, Vanderhyde
Bookings: Jones (39 mins)
By Chris Wickham