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Match Reports

Brentford v Bolton Wanderers

18 April 2015

Bees held at home

Brentford were left frustrated after letting a 2-1 lead slip to draw 2-2 against Bolton Wanderers.

The Bees seemed well in control of the game when they held the lead inside the final 20 minutes but a defensive error cost them when Mark Davies nipped in to level.

Alex Pritchard had put Brentford in front and Jonathan Douglas had restored the lead before half time after Bolton had equalised.

There were chances to make the game safe but Bolton defended well, blocking countless shots, and then scored late on to take a point.

Bolton’s intentions were clear early in the game.

They came to Griffin Park with a solid defence and looked to get from back to front quickly.

Their midfield looked to fight for the second balls and then give their attacking players a sight of goal.

Brentford, however, started the game well and an early acrobatic effort from Andre Gray was saved before a Pritchard effort from a short corner was blocked.

Adam Bogdan made a good save from a curling Alan Judge free kick as Brentford took control of the early stages.

They were winning the second balls and dominating possession, albeit they were unable to create a really good chance in the opening exchanges.

In fact, the best chance of the first 15 minutes fell to the visitors, albeit in controversial circumstances.

Toumani Diagouraga was robbed in midfield and Adam Le Fondre put Emile Heskey away, the former England striker looked offside but was left with only David Button to beat, he, however, was unable to do so, his shot flying past the post.

He was then left bemused as referee Carl Boyeson signalled for a goal kick even though it appeared Button had made a save.

Jota shot wide after picking up a James Tarkowski pass and cutting inside before another ball from the back allowed Gray to set Judge away but he elected to pass when 15 yards out rather than shoot.

Liam Feeney had a shot blocked for the visitors and a week Paddy McCarthy header was saved before Pritchard curled a free kick over.

As the half continued the match started to open up.

Bolton’s midfield four were struggling to contain Brentford but the home side’s desire to attack was leaving space at the back.

Dean Moxey made a fine tackle when Jota looked set to shoot or find a killer pass after a superb run and Tom Walker shot well over before Button denied Feeney and the follow-up effort was blocked.

Pritchard shot wide for The Bees after good work by Jota but ten minutes before the break he found the net.

Tarkowski played a ball out of defence and Gray got away from McCarthy, he played it inside to Judge and the Irishman fed Pritchard and he slotted past Bogdan from ten yards.

That goal ignited the game and the final minutes of the first half were full of action.

Bolton could have levelled within two minutes when Walker fed Giles Coke and his deflected shot was superbly saved by Button.

But they did not have to wait long.

Brentford lost possession in the midfield and Heskey picked a pass, Le Fondre raced on to it and slotted the ball past the advancing Button and in to the corner.

Once again, there was a suspicion of offside but Bolton were level.

The equilibrium, however, only lasted a few minutes.

The Bees could have scored when Gray picked up a Dean pass and turned away from Dorian Dervite before smashing a shot against the post.

The ball was then recycled and Judge lifted a cross to the far post where Douglas rose to loop a header over Bogdan and in off the post.

It was almost three when Pritchard let fly from 25 yards with a swerving effort but Bogdan kept it out and Walker shot wide at the other end.

It would have been almost impossible for the second half to continue at the pace the first ended and although Brentford continued to dominate possession and territory, there were fewer chances.

Jota had a shot saved early on and a Gray effort was blocked before Douglas turned well on the edge of the box but saw his effort snuffed out by the defence.

At the other end, Heskey and Dervite had shots blocked before Le Fondre curled over.

Le Fondre went closer still soon after when Coke played the ball in to the box following a short corner and the striker slipped when shooting from six yards.

When Bolton did level with 19 minutes remaining, it was entirely of Brentford’s making.

Tarkowski played a weak pass towards Button and Davies was able to tackle the Brentford goalkeeper before rolling the ball home.

Feeney had a shot deflected inches wide while Stuart Dallas was just unable to force in a Judge cross at the back post.

Brentford poured men forward in the later stages, looking for the goal that would give them a vital three points.

A Jake Bidwell shot was saved and Dallas shot over before Douglas missed the target with a volley.

A Harlee Dean shot deflected just wide after he had turned well in the box and a Jota shot was blocked.

Brentford pressed and pressed but could not find a way through and had to settle for a point.

Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell; Douglas, Diagouraga; Jota, Judge (sub Toral 79 mins), Pritchard (sub Dallas 61 mins); Gray (sub Smith 79 mins)

Subs (not used): Bonham, Craig, McCormack, Udumaga

Bookings: Dallas (85 mins) (third of season), Douglas (90 mins) (tenth of season)

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan; Threlkeld (sub Janko 80 mins), McCarthy, Dervite, Moxey (sub Davies 43 mins); Walker, Coke (sub Guðjohnsen 67 mins), Ream, Feeney; Heskey, Le Fondre

Subs (not used): Lonergan, Trotter, Rochinha, Twardzik

Bookings: McCarthy (6 mins), Walker (66 mins), Feeney (88 mins)

Attendance: 11,874 (1,207 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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