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Match Reports

Brentford v Nottingham Forest

6 April 2015

Bees come from behind to take a point

Jota scored a last gasp equaliser as Brentford came from 2-0 down to earn a share of the spoils against Nottingham Forest.

The Bees trailed 2-0 as the match headed in to the last ten minutes as they were hit by two sucker punches despite dominating.

But Andre Gray halved the deficit and Jota headed a Tommy Smith cross home at the far post to give his team a share of the spoils.

The point was the least Brentford deserved.

While not reaching the highest standards, they will still feel they had the better of the match and did enough to ensure they were not beaten.

The visitors started the game on the front foot.

With three attacking midfield players behind striker Chuba Akpom, they had a high line and looked to prevent Brentford playing out from the back.

They had the territorial advantage in the early stages while Brentford had the ball in largely unthreatening areas.

Forest could also have been ahead when a deep Eric Lichaj free kick released Michail Antonio in behind but he ran wide and his shot was blocked.

Henri Lansbury also curled a free kick over for the visitors but Brentford soon found a way to play their way up the pitch and started to take control.

James Tarkowski had a header saved and a looping aerial effort from Stuart Dallas was also held by Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Alan Judge had a shot blocked after finding space in the inside left channel before a great move involving Jota and Alex Pritchard led to Dallas releasing Jake Bidwell, his cross found Gray but the striker’s header was blocked and his powerful follow-up also hit a Forest body.

Darlow made a good far post save when Dallas met a Moses Odubajo cross and, from the resulting short corner, a Judge shot was blocked.

Brentford were on top in terms of possession but Forest had pace on the break and were leaving men forward when The Bees attacked.

David Button made an unconvincing save from a Jack Hobbs header and Tarkowski made a brave block with his head when Antonio let fly powerfully from 25 yards.

The Bees were, however, starting to take complete control as half time approached.

Toumani Diagouraga was sweeping the ball from side to side as Brentford probed and chances were starting to come.

After exchanging passes with Jota, Odubajo darted from the back and set up Gray for a powerful near post shot that Darlow pushed wide.

Bidwell shot narrowly wide soon after and after Tarkowski had strode out from defence, Gray set up Judge to shoot wide from 18 yards.

Odubajo had a shot blocked but Forest should have taken the lead at the end of the first half.

Antonio got away from Harlee Dean after the pair chased down the Forest left and he cut the ball back for substitute Tyler Walker but the striker, who had replaced Akpom, steered it wide from eight yards.

Brentford started the second half strongly, they played the game on the front foot and in Forest’s half of the pitch.

They could have been ahead within seconds of the re-start when Pritchard delivered a fantastic cross to the far post but neither Gray nor Tarkowski could stretch to head it in.

Jota fired a free kick in to a defensive wall and Diagouraga’s follow-up was blocked.

Jot had another shot blocked while Antonio fired well over at the other end.

Jota and Judge then combined to create shooting chance for Gray but Darlow saved well and his long kick down the pitch then set up the opening goal.

The long ball was perfect for Walker who had isolated himself on Tarkowski and then turned away from the defender before drilling the ball home with his left foot.

With Brentford chasing the game and both teams having played 72 hours ago, the match became incredibly stretched after the goal.

The Bees pushed more men forward but left space for Forest to break and there was goalmouth action at both ends.

David Vaughan fired across the face of goal for Forest after a quick free kick and at the other end Pritchard had a shot blocked and then curled one inches over.

Ben Osborn and Walker then had shots blocked for Forest before Vaughan fired wide from long range.

Darlow saved a powerful Gray effort before efforts from Jota and Diagouraga were blocked.

The Forest goalkeeper then went full stretch to his left to keep out a Jota shot before an equally good save from Pritchard.

And that seemed as if it would be match defining when a long ball was played forward, Antonio got it out to Osborn on the left and he crossed for Todd Kane, who had only been on for two minutes, to tap in.

Smith was thrown on as Brentford chased the match and Forest were forced back.

Jota shot well over before Pritchard picked out Gray and he turned to powerfully fire home from 18 yards.

That set up a manic final ten minutes and it was effectively attack v defence.

A Pritchard shot was blocked before a flurry of corners saw a Bidwell header deflect wide and then another one blocked.

Darlow also made a superb save from a flicked Jota volley and as the minutes ticked down Brentford laid siege to the Forest goal.

Pritchard and Jon Toral had shots blocked and another Gray shot was blocked as the match ticked in to its final seconds of stoppage time.

From a Judge corner, Smith found space to chip the ball across and Jota rose to head home the equaliser at the far post and give Brentford a point.

Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Dean (sub Smith 78 mins), Tarkowski, Bidwell; Diagouraga; Jota, Pritchard, Judge, Dallas (sub Toral 59 mins); Gray

Subs (not used): Bonham, Craig, O’Connell, McCormack, Douglas

Nottingham Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Hobbs, Wilson, Fox; Mancienne, Vaughan; C. Burke (sub Osborn 55 mins), Lansbury, Antonio; Akpom (sub Walker 41 mins (sub Kane 75 mins))

Subs (not used): Evtimov, Lascelles, Paterson, O. Burke

Bookings: Vaughan (37 mins), Lansbury (90 mins)

Attendance: 11,499 (1,632 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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