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Saturday, April 14, 2012
Brentford 0 Notts County 0
Brentford’s League One play-off hopes are receding after they were held by fellow contenders Notts County on a frustrating afternoon at Griffin Park.
The Bees lacked the cutting edge to break County down and their second successive scoreless draw keeps them three points adrift of sixth place with just three games to play.
The best of the early opportunities fell to County, with Dele Adebola’s header falling into the path of Lloyd Sam, but the winger screwed his finish horribly wide.
Alan Judge also looked lively for the visitors, scampering away on the counter-attack and exchanging passes with Sam before firing just wide with Richard Lee rooted to the spot.
Brentford’s biggest threat came whenever they gained a free-kick within shooting distance, but Sam Saunders was unable to capitalise, with one effort deflected behind and the next thundering into the County wall.
Karleigh Osborne stole in to meet another Saunders delivery with a glancing header that flew wide, while the hard-working Clayton Donaldson fired over from the edge of the box.
Overall, neither side could gain control for any significant length of time, but County came closest to breaking the deadlock eight minutes before the interval when a 25-yarder from Jeff Hughes rattled the crossbar.
The pattern continued in the second half as the Bees pressed gamely but failed to create any clear opportunities, while Alan Sheehan’s swerving drive brought a good save from Lee at his near post.
Brentford manager Uwe Rosler resisted the temptation to shuffle his pack until, with 20 minutes to go, winger Niall McGinn was again pressed into service up front with Donaldson.
McGinn supplied a couple of dangerous crosses, only to find no waiting recipient, and then Donaldson was unable to apply the finishing touch when Marcus Bean headed back Jake Bidwell’s cross.
And Saunders almost snatched victory three minutes from time, whipping another free-kick towards the far post, but former Bees goalkeeper Stuart Nelson flung out an arm to preserve parity.
Brentford: Lee; Logan, Osborne, Dean, Bidwell; Bean (Legge 82), Diagouraga, Douglas; Saunders; Donaldson, Morrison (McGinn 70).