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Match Reports

Brentford 1 Burton Albion 1

Bees held at home

21 November 2017

Your Brentford v Burton Albion match report powered by Utilita

A superb free kick from Florian Jozefzoon was not enough to give Brentford a home win against Burton Albion. The winger delivered an effort in to the top corner to put Brentford ahead early in the second half after a rather dull opening 45 minutes at Griffin Park. But Ben Turner headed a leveller for the visitors inside the final ten minutes to give them a share of the spoils.

The point Burton earned thanks to a 1-1 draw was the height of their ambitions. The first half was a poor spectacle with the visitors spending much of it camped inside their own half and inviting Brentford to try and play through them. Even after Jozefzoon’s opener they were content to sit back, opting to try and find a goal from a set piece, which they did late on. And it was enough to get them a point.

Burton set out their stall from the first whistle. They started the game with a five-man defence and a bank of four in front of them. Lone striker Marvin Sordell was nominally providing an attacking threat but he often dropped in as well to leave all 11 Burton players behind the ball. As such Brentford dominated possession but with the visitors keeping the game as compact as possible, it wasn’t much of a spectacle.

The best chance of the first half came inside the opening three minutes and went the way of the visitors. Matt Palmer delivered a free kick and Turner got to it eight yards out, but he could only head off target. Burton’s game plan was certainly working in the first period as they had other chances to take the lead. Andreas Bjelland sliced a cross which landed on top of his own crossbar and when the Danish defender ceded possession later in the half, Sordell delivered a cross that Sean Scannell could not convert, Romaine Sawyers then got back to make a fine tackle to prevent Luke Murphy getting a shot away.

Those chances showed that Burton were capable of opening Brentford up if they committed men to an attack but they were largely happy to sit deep and try to frustrate. The Bees lacked the guile to open them up in the first half, only creating half chances. Sawyers almost got on to a clever Ryan Woods pass but the ball just ran away from him and Yoann Barbet fired a free kick in to a defensive wall.

Barbet also had a shot blocked and Sawyers fired over but the best chance for The Bees before the break fell to Nico Yennaris. A corner was worked cleverly short and Sawyers set up Yennaris to shoot from 20 yards but he fizzed the effort over the bar. Egan also headed over towards the end of a forgettable first period.

Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith may have been tempted to make changes at the break to try and open the game up. The Bees had not moved the ball quickly through the midfield and were not creating openings. The Brentford boss waited six minutes to shuffle his pack and there was an immediate impact.

Josh McEachran and Sergi Canós were introduced and the latter won the free kick that led to the opening goal. Canós was brought down 25 yards out and Jozefzoon stepped up to curl an effort in to the top corner. Burton goalkeeper Stephen Bywater was left helpless as the ball sailed past him and it looked as if the game had come to life. Canós had a shot blocked and then picked up a clever short corner before weaving through and shooting, the effort deflected inches past the far post.

Barbet went close soon after but failed to connect with a Canós cross and head home from eight yards. The French defender then had another effort from a free kick that Bywater saved well down to his left. With 20 minutes to go Brentford had complete control and were pushing for a second goal but Burton worked their way back in to the game and started the threaten.

Sordell could have scored when he got on to a ball over the top but he fired in to the side netting. Substitute Joe Sbarra – who was only added to the team sheets in the moments before the game due to an injury to Jake Buxton – then had a shot blocked from a short corner. Despite Burton’s new-found ambition, it was still a surprise when they levelled. Brentford cleared a corner but failed to get out to Sbarra and he delivered superbly for Turner to head home at the far post.

Brentford needed to find something again and went looking for a second goal. A Canós corner almost provided one when Bjelland met it but it was blocked on the line and Bywater dived on top of the ball as Ollie Watkins tried to convert. Daniel Bentley saved from Sordell and a curling effort from Will Miller went just past the far post. Watkins could have won it at the death when he burst clear in the inside right channel but he fired high and wide and Burton had their point.

Brentford: Bentley; Clarke, Egan, Bjelland, Barbet; Woods (sub McEachran 52 mins); Jozefzoon, Yennaris (sub Canós 52 mins), Sawyers, Watkins; Maupay (sub Vibe 72 mins)

Subs (not used): Daniels, Mepham, Chatzitheodoridis, Mokotjo

Bookings: Watkins (81 mins) (fourth of season)

Burton Albion: Bywater; Akins; Naylor, McFadzean, Turner, Flanagan; Lund (sub Sbarra 70 mins), Murphy, Palmer (sub Miller 64 mins), Scannell; Sordell

Subs (not used): Ripley, Warnock, Allen, Varney, Akpan

Bookings: Lund (68 mins)

Attendance: 7,957 (143 away fans)

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