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29 March 2014

No goals at Boundary Park as Brentford draw with Oldham Athletic

Brentford picked up another point to add to their 2013/14 total with a 0-0 draw away from home against Oldham Athletic.

In a game of few good chances, Brentford probably had slightly the better of the match overall without quite doing enough to win.

Oldham goalkeeper Paul Rachubka made the best save of the afternoon, a late one from Stuart Dallas, but the home side also had chances to win it.

In the end, the 0-0 draw was probably the right result.

Oldham played with five men in midfield and looked happy to sit deep.

They invited Brentford on to them for long periods, sitting in, looking to win the ball in the centre of the field and break quickly with The Bees committing too many men forward.

The home side showed signs of being incisive in attack but Brentford dominated possession and territory.

They created more in the second half than the first without getting the killer goal.

The visitors had the early chances – Alan McCormack had a shot blocked and then fired wide before a Clayton Donaldson header was saved and Jonathan Douglas miss-hit a volley – but Oldham soon came back in to the game.

Jonson Clarke-Harris headed powerfully wide before a deflected effort from Korey Smith was saved.

The game soon settled in to a pattern – Brentford had possession in front of ten or 11 Oldham players and probed for a gap, which usually came from full backs Jake Bidwell or Nico Yennaris bombing on.

Oldham were, however, dangerous when they got in to attacking areas, particularly if they won the ball in midfield.

Clarke-Harris headed over again and when a David Worrall cross deflected off Bidwell, David Button had to push it over the bar.

Button then made a vital punch away from a dangerous corner and when The Bees broke, Jonathan Grounds prevented McCormack turning home a Will Grigg cross.

An Alan Judge shot, from a short free kick, was blocked and the same man then fired over from 25 yards.

The best chance of the first half came just before the half hour mark when Gary Harkins crossed from the left and Danny Philliskirk headed over from four yards out.

Smith had a shot blocked and Button had to go away to his right to save when Clark-Harris met a James Wesolowski cross with his chest and diverted it towards the far post.

Brentford ended the first half on top – Grigg had a shot blocked, as did Yennaris, and Oldham goalkeeper Paul Rachubka got down well to save a low Donaldson shot after good work by Forshaw and McCormack.

Oldham started the second half brightly – Button made a fine save from a powerful James Wilson header – but Brentford started to take a grip on the game.

They created a few chances – Rachubka saved at the feet of Grigg and Bidwell curled a free kick over the bar – but not as many as they would have liked.

As the minutes ticked past the game opened up a little and there were openings at both ends.

Harkins and Donaldson had shots blocked before Bidwell made an important clearance inside his six-yard box.

James Dayton had a great chance when he got behind the Brentford defence with only Button to beat but he failed to get a good connection on his shot and the goalkeeper saved.

Philliskirk fired wide and Donaldson headed over as the game entered the final 20 minutes.

Brentford’s best chance to win it fell to substitute Dallas, he met a Donaldson cross from the right with a powerful volley that Rachubka somehow kept out diving to his right.

Bidwell then lashed over when well-placed after Donaldson had got away again on the right.

Oldham could have taken the points late on when Wesolowski raced in behind but, under pressure from Toumani Diagouraga, he shot wide.

Philliskirk lashed over in stoppage time before referee Scott Duncan, who never seemed in complete control of the game, brought proceedings to a close and the spoils were shared.

Oldham Athletic: Rachubka; Brown, Wilson, Lockwood, Grounds; Smith; Worrall (sub Dayton 57 mins), Harkins, Wesolowski, Philliskirk; Clarke-Harris (sub MacDonald 70 mins)

Subs (not used): Coleman, Dunfield, Millar, Winchester, Gafaiti

Bookings: Grounds (86 mins)

Brentford: Button; Yennaris (sub Diagouraga 75 mins), Tarkowski, Dean, Bidwell; McCormack, Douglas, Forshaw; Judge (sub Dallas 84 mins); Grigg (sub Trotta 63 mins), Donaldson

Subs (not used): Lee, O’Connor, Craig, Reeves

Bookings: Dean (eight mins) (eighth of season), Tarkowski (48 mins) (ninth of season), Forshaw (66 mins) (fourth of season)

Attendance: 4,087 (532 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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