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Match Reports

Wycombe Wanderers 0 Brentford 0

No goals and a point each

21 November 2020

Brentford extended their unbeaten run to five but were held to a fourth draw in those fixtures as they drew 0-0 with Wycombe Wanderers. A stop-start contest never really came to life and while both teams had chances, neither quite did enough to win the match. Both goalkeepers made saves, but a slow game ended without a goal and both teams took a point.

Brentford were a little bit below their best, particularly in the second half, and while they made changes throughout the game to try and affect it, they were never able to build the momentum to turn one point in to three. Bryan Mbeumo hit the post in the first half, which was the closest either team came to winning it, but there were few good chances. In the end, a draw was probably the right result.

Both teams started the game with an attacking outlook. Wycombe had Daryl Horgan in behind their two strikers and looked to get their midfield players in to attacking areas as well. The home side played the game at a slower pace than The Bees but wanted to get the ball in to Brentford territory, using the physicality of Adebayo Akinfenwa and the pace of Scott Kashket to trouble the visitors.

The hosts probably came closest to scoring in the opening 20 minutes. David Raya had to be alert to back-peddle quickly and palm away a Curtis Thompson cross that may have been dipping under the bar and inside the far post. Raya then smothered a shot from Kashket after he had got in behind the Brentford defence and on to a Thompson pass.

Wycombe were, however, mostly forced back in the first quarter of the contest. Brentford were mostly patient in the ball but with Wycombe playing a very narrow system, there was space to exploit wide. Rico Henry, in particular, used that to good effect and he linked well with Sergi Canós and Josh Dasilva in the left channel to get The Bees up the pitch. When Henrik Dalsgaard spread the from right to left, Henry had time to cross, it deflected to Mbeumo inside the penalty area but he smashed it over the crossbar.

The Bees also had chances from set pieces in the early exchanges. Saman Ghoddos pulled a shot wide when a long throw dropped to him before Pontus Jansson got on to a Mbeumo corner but his header lacked the power to trouble Ryan Allsop in the Wycombe goal and no Brentford player got to it as it fell inside the six-yard box. Jansson met another corner soon after when Dalsgaard flicked it on, but he planted his header wide.

As the half wore on, Wycombe were being pushed back deeper and deeper. They had a solid defensive shape, but Brentford were able to find space, particularly wide. There was an opening for Canós when he got on to a Mbeumo cross but his effort on the volley was wildly off target. The Bees came within a whisker of taking the lead moments later when Dasilva darted away from David Wheeler on the left and delivered a cross, Mbeumo met it with a low shot and Allsop made a superb save low to his right, pushing it on to the post. Ghoddos could not get on to the loose ball and Wycombe hacked it away.

Kashket headed wide for the home side but Brentford were creating good openings and ended the half on the front foot. An Ivan Toney pass put Mbeumo in behind in the inside left channel and his shot was well saved, again, by Allsop. Then, just before half time, a Dalsgaard pass found Toney in space in the penalty area, he looked set to finish but his shot was blocked and Mbeumo was unable to get on to the loose ball.

Brentford had the initiative at the end of the first half and carried that in to the second, without being able to make the breakthrough. The game was mostly being played in Wycombe territory with Dasilva joining in to the attacks for The Bees more and more but the visitors were unable to breach a well-drilled defence. Dalsgaard lashed over the crossbar after winning possession 25 yards from goal and Mbeumo headed a Canós ball back across goal but Allsop dropped on it with Toney lurking.

The home side were doing a lot of defending and were working hard but also created some openings of their own when they got the ball forward. Dominic Gape had a shot blocked by Mads Bech Sørensen when he got on to a cross that dropped loose outside the penalty area and a deep free kick from Joe Jacobsen was met by Wheeler at the far post, his header had Raya scrambling across his goal, but it bounced wide. Raya also saved an Akinfenwa header as the game reached the hour mark.

Both teams introduced more attacking players as the minutes ticked down. There were substitutions from both sides and the game lost its flow a fraction. Wycombe took their time whenever the ball went out of play and prevented Brentford building any momentum, but The Bees did not have the pace in the play they needed to trouble their hosts. The Bees lacked the incisiveness in the final third to create good chances and it was Wycombe who were coming closest as the game entered its later stages.

Most of Wycombe’s openings were coming from set pieces but they were putting the ball in to the penalty area a lot and were looking to profit from it. Jacobsen hit the wall with a free kick and also had a pair of shots blocked when a long throw dropped. Raya was also called in to action when Horgan let fly from the edge of the penalty area, pushing the shot away to his left.

Both teams could have won it at the death with Wycombe coming the closer. When Henry was robed by Horgan, Alex Samuel had a shot that Raya pushed away to his right. Samuel also missed the target with an aerial effort and an Akinfenwa header was saved late on. For Brentford, the chance went the way of Dasilva. Tariqe Fosu headed on and then got the ball back from Toney before setting up Dasilva, the shot was low and true from 20 yards but fizzed just past the far post to ensure the points were shared.

Wycombe Wanderers: Allsop; Grimmer, Knight, Stewart, Jacobsen; Gape (sub Onyedinma 73 mins); Wheeler (sub McCleary 62 mins), Horgan, Thompson; Kashket (sub Samuel 62 mins), Akinfenwa

Subs (not used): Yates, Freeman, Adeniran, McCarthy, Parker, Mehmet

Bookings: Kashket (45 mins), Samuel (63 mins), Stewart (64 mins), Horgan (89 mins)

Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Sørensen, Henry; Ghoddos (sub Forss 61 mins), Jansen, Dasilva; Mbeumo (sub Janelt 82 mins), Toney, Canós (sub Fosu 75 mins)

Subs (not used): Daniels, Stevens, Thompson, Marcondes, Pressley

Bookings: Canós (70 mins), Toney (90 mins) (second of season)


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