Brentford 1-1 Birmingham: Josh McEachran's first goal earns point for Bees
Josh McEachran scores his first club goal as Brentford draw with 10-man Birmingham at Griffin Park
Last Updated: 02/10/18 11:30pm
Ten-man Birmingham clung on for a hard-earned point in a 1-1 draw at Brentford that came to life in a fiery second half.
Blues boss Garry Monk was sent to the stands after a touchline melee following Maikel Kieftenbeld's red card for an off-the-ball incident with home striker Neal Maupay right under the nose of the fourth official.
Brentford had to come from behind after Michael Morrison's glancing near-post header gave City the lead from a pinpoint Jota corner after 26 minutes of the Sky Bet Championship clash.
But Josh McEachran's first senior goal, an unstoppable free-kick from a tight angle that goalkeeper Lee Camp could only palm into the roof of his net, pulled the Bees level just before the break.
Birmingham could have been out of sight by the interval, Lukas Jutkiewicz squandering two gilt-edged chances with the goal gaping.
At the other end, Lewis Macleod saw a looping header dip just over the angle and Alan Judge's speculative strike from the edge of the area lacked the power to test Camp.
Romaine Sawyers had the first clear chance for the hosts, but his clipped effort at the near post from a low Sergi Canos shot was well blocked by the Birmingham goalkeeper.
Jacques Maghoma had Birmingham's first clear-cut chance after 22 minutes, but an instinctive shot with the goal at his mercy was tipped wide by Luke Daniels.
Birmingham smelled blood and former Brentford winger Jota set up Jutkiewicz a minute later in acres of space, but Daniels again came to the Londoners' rescue with a full-length save.
Brentford were living dangerously and only a Chris Mepham block denied Jutkiewicz just before the half hour, but it was only a temporary reprieve as Blues went ahead when the Bees defence stood and watched Morrison from the corner.
Maghoma should have stretched the visitors' lead but again was wasteful in front of goal, before McEachran sent the hosts in level at the break.
Maupay saw a snap-shot blocked but the ball fell kindly for Alan Judge whose first-time volley was palmed clear by Camp.
A cat-and-mouse game that could have gone either way burst into life after 66 minutes when referee Tim Robinson reached for a red card for Kieftenbeld after consulting with the fourth official following a collision with Maupay.
The card sparked a City melee in the dugout after which Monk followed his midfielder to the stand.
Brentford seized the initiative after the sending-off but Birmingham defended manfully and the closest the hosts came to taking maximum points was when Canos saw a dipping volley tipped wide by Camp.
Henrik Dalsgaard might have nicked it at the death for the hosts, but his header from a Moses Odubajo cross was tipped over by Camp.
Dean Smith: "We're possibly becoming victims of our own success because we can't control the officials. It was a strange game. I'm not sure they came to give us a really good game of football. There were a lot of niggly fouls and delays and perhaps sometimes you have to credit the opposition who defended deep and were very forceful, so a draw was probably a fair result."
"He [goalkeeper Daniel Bentley] was gutted but he accepted my decision. He has made a few mistakes over the last month and if outfield players make mistakes you change it."
Garry Monk: "I thought the opposition player would be booked for feigning injury so to see a red card was a complete shock. It happened right in front of me and it was completely the wrong decision. After 23 years in football I know something when I see it, but I don't want to talk about that because the main part is my players who showed unbelievable character against the second highest scorers in the league."
"Brentford are a fantastic team but we more than matched them. We took control of the first half and took the lead and their goal came against the run of play. To come here and weather the first 15 minutes and then defend like we did with 10 men makes it a very good point for us."