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Match Reports

Brentford v Millwall

21 March 2015

Bees come from two down to earn point

Brentford came from 2-0 down with five minutes remaining to earn a draw in a London derby against Millwall.

The Bees looked set for a home loss as the visitors scored a goal in each half to hold a relatively comfortable lead in the dying stages.

But Alex Pritchard smashed home a penalty and then set up an equaliser for Moses Odubajo to earn Brentford a share of the spoils.

The visitors came to Griffin Park needing points to aid their battle for survival and went looking for all three.

Although they set up with an additional midfield player, they flooded men forward when they had the ball.

Millwall, who started the day 23rd in the table, also pressed high up the pitch and made it difficult for Brentford to play through them.

The Bees, as ever, dominated possession but they did not make as much of it as they would have liked and needed two very late goals to take anything from the match.

Millwall had the first sight of goal and David Button saved well from Martyn Woolford after good work from Ed Upson.

Brentford broke quickly and shots from Jonathan Douglas and Stuart Dallas were blocked before Pritchard blasted over.

Dallas shot over again when a cross was half cleared soon after before Button denied Woolford again at the other end.

Millwall goalkeeper David Forde was well positioned to save from Odubajo after the right back had darted forward and Jota met a Pritchard cross with a flicked header moments later that cannoned away off the crossbar.

Brentford appeared to be building momentum but the game was halted for around five minutes when referee Fred Graham was unable to continue.

He was replaced by Gavin Ward and Millwall were able to use the time to regroup.

Button saved a low cross-cum-shot from Woolford and moments later the visitors were in front.

The goal was frustratingly simple from a Brentford perspective, Upson played a ball over the defence, Lee Gregory beat the offside trap and got in behind, he rounded Button and rolled the ball in.

Toumani Diagouraga shot over just before the goal and Forde saved from Pritchard after but Gregory could have made it two when he latched on to a poor clearance, the striker, however, lashed over.

Brentford started to get in to their stride as half time approached.

Forde made a fine save from a curling Dallas effort and, when the resulting corner was worked short, the Brentford man had a shot blocked.

A Pritchard shot was blocked before Jota crossed for Douglas, Forde made a superb save to keep out the header and then recovered to stop Dallas’ deflected follow-up.

Forde was in the action again at the end of the half when he turned a dipping Pritchard free kick around the post and in the dying seconds Dallas tore down the left and crossed, Andre Gray couldn’t get the ball under control and when it dropped to Jota, he smashed it over.

Upson blasted over late in the half but Brentford went in at the break with the momentum, albeit needing two goals to get the win they craved.

The Bees continued to dominate after the break and started to create more openings.

Gray had two good chances, one where he picked up a superb Jota pass but Forder smothered at his feet and the next he blasted just over after being set up by Pritchard and turning well.

Jota looked set to equalise when Gray laid a Pritchard cross in to his path but a flurry of yellow shirts flew towards the ball and the shot was blocked.

The visitors were proving effective on the break and came close to a second when Gregory got away on the right, his cross picked out Aiden O’Brien and Odubajo made a superb block to prevent him firing home.

O’Brien shot wide soon after when a long ball dropped loose but he was in the right place to make it 2-0 soon after.

Millwall broke quickly when Harlee Dean misplaced a pass in midfield, Gregory’s shot was blocked by Woolford stood a cross up to the far post for O’Brien to head in from inches out.

Woolford almost set up another goal for O’Brien soon after from a quick throw but James Tarkowski was well-placed to intercept.

The visitors had smothered the life out of the game, prevented Brentford getting up any real head of steam and now had a two-goal lead.

Tommy Smith and Jon Toral were introduced, soon after Alan Judge, and The Bees went for it.

Chances came but by and large Millwall had Brentford at arms’ length.

A cross from Judge flew across the face of goal, just eluding Gray and Pritchard shot wide.

Jota missed the target after exchanging passes with Toral and then had a shot before Mr Ward decided Smith had dived when he appeared to be fouled 17 yards from goal and issued a yellow card when a penalty seemed certain.

He did, however, give The Bees a spot kick with five minutes remaining.

Judge darted in to the box and was brought crashing down by Jos Hooiveld.

Pritchard blasted the penalty high down the middle to halve the deficit.

Gray could have levelled when he got on to a Judge pass behind the defence but Forde came rushing out, knocked the striker out of his stride – legally according to the officials – and the chance was gone.

Gray then had a shot saved after Douglas had led the charge from the back and a minute in to stoppage time Brentford were level.

Pritchard was the architect, creating space and crossing from the right for Odubajo to lash the ball in.

But that was not the end of the action.

Millwall could have gone back in front when Gary Taylor-Fletcher weaved his way in to the box but he missed the target from 12 yards.

Brentford also had a late chance when Pritchard saw a shot blocked but Mr Ward called time seconds later and the spoils were shared.

Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Dean (sub Smith 71 mins), Tarkowski, Bidwell; Douglas, Diagouraga (sub Toral 71 mins); Jota, Pritchard, Dallas (sub Judge 60 mins); Gray

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

Bookings: Smith (73 mins) (second of season), Bidwell (76 mins) (seventh of season)

Millwall: Forde; Cummings, Hooiveld, Nelson, Harding; Upson, Williams, Abdou, Woolford; O’Brien (sub Taylor-Fletcher 76 mins); Gregory

Subs (not used): Archer, Fabbrini, Beevers, Gueye, Maierhofer, Philpot

Bookings: Woolford (12 mins), Nelson (27 mins), Gregory (39 mins), Upson (45 mins)

Attendance: 10,179 (1,641 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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