Brentford held to draw by Carlisle United
Brentford were held to a 0-0 draw by a dogged and well-drilled Carlisle United at Brunton Park.
The Bees probably had the better of it over the 90 minutes in terms of possession and territory but failed to create many really good chances.
The home defence, marshalled by the excellent Pascal Chimbonda, defended deep and denied space in behind and the midfield in front of them work tirelessly to close down any shooting opportunities.
Brentford never really looked like losing but probably did not do enough to win.
Carlisle started the game brightly and had the ball in Brentford territory for most of the early exchanges.
David Button saved a low shot from Sam Byrne and then held on to a header from the same man while Jonathan Douglas quickly rushed out to block a David Symington free kick.
It became apparent early on that Brentford could get at Carlisle on the home side’s left side.
Carlisle appeared to be unbalanced with no one player sticking to their left channel.
That gave Clayton Donaldson and Nico Yennaris room to play in and when Brentford got the ball out to their right flank they had space to try and open the hosts up.
The Bees had slightly the better of the first half, putting aside the first ten minutes, but perhaps didn’t use that space on the right enough.
When Donaldson got a run at Chris Chantler he clearly had the beating of the left back.
Marcello Trotta had a volley blocked after one move and Chantler was booked for a hack at Donaldson after another run.
Donaldson came closest to opening the scoring in the first period, turning on to his left foot after picking up an Alan Judge cross and bending a shot just wide.
A Trotta cross just eluded Judge soon after, Douglas had a heard blocked and an Adam Forshaw effort was also prevented from heading towards goal by a busy home defence, with Chimbonda leading his troops.
Danny Redmond shot well over for the home side and Donaldson got back to make a tackle to prevent Liam Noble shooting but they were rare Carlisle attacks.
Judge almost opened the scoring just before half time when he picked up a loose ball and let fly from 25 yards but the shot whistled wide.
Carlisle had some good openings at the start of the second half.
Button held on to a weak Redmond header before Brad Potts shot wide from distance.
David Amoo had an effort saved after weaving his way in to the penalty area and Button then got down well to deny Noble after Forshaw had been robbed.
Button saved again from Byrne before a Courtney Meppen-Walter header was blocked and Douglas blocked Noble’s follow-up.
As in the first period, Brentford started to take control as the half wore on and the game opened up a little as the visitors pressed.
Carlisle started to run out of steam and sat deeper and deeper to try and hold what they had.
A Forshaw shot deflected wide and when the resulting corner was half cleared, George Saville put it back in and Trotta volleyed wide from close range.
Forshaw had a shot saved when The Bees broke quickly and Judge tested Jordan Pickford again soon after.
James Tarkowski almost created something for The Bees with a burst from deep, his cross was punched off the head of Trotta by Pickford and Judge’s shot from the follow-up just eluded Douglas and went past the far post.
Lee Miller missed a good chance for Carlisle, firing well over after being set up by Amoo and Potts fired narrowly wide soon after.
Amoo had another effort blocked and was then tackled by Forshaw as he prepared to shoot while a Potts effort was also blocked.
Redmond lifted a shot over as the minutes ticked down and Button held on to a Meppen-Walter header but Carlisle seemed happy to defend and hold on to their point.
Judge fired a free kick over the bar before crossing for Will Grigg, the striker’s shot appeared to be heading in before Meppen-Walter blocked.
Saville and Douglas had late headers blocked and Donaldson had the ball in the net only to see it ruled out for offside as Brentford tried in vain for the winning goal.
After five minutes of stoppage time referee Michael Naylor brought proceedings to a close and Carlisle had the point they had worked for.
Carlisle United: Pickford; Symington, Chimbonda, Meppen-Walter, Chantler; Amoo, Noble, Potts, Redmond (sub Brough 85 mins); Miller, Byrne (sub Novo 64 mins)
Subs (not used): Fleming, Ekangamene, Edwards, Lynch, Guy
Bookings: Chantler (31 mins), Miller (50 mins), Noble (69 mins)
Brentford: Button; Yennaris, Tarkowski, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw, Douglas, Saville; Donaldson, Trotta (sub Grigg 72 mins), Judge
Subs (not used): Lee, Calvet, O’Connor, Hutton, Reeves, Fillo
Bookings: Tarkowski (77 mins) (eighth of season), Judge (80 mins) (third of season)
Attendance: 3,984 (410 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham