Brentford 1-1 Burton: Albion battle back for draw
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 21/11/17 10:54pm
Brentford had to settle for a point in a dour 1-1 draw with Sky Bet Championship away-draw experts Burton.
Florian Jozefzoon gave the Bees the lead just after the break with a delightful curling free-kick up and over the wall that left goalkeeper Stephen Bywater rooted to his line. But Burton levelled when Joe Sbarra's searching diagonal cross was headed home at the far post by the unmarked Ben Turner on 78 minutes.
It was reward for a Burton side who parked the bus against wave after wave of Brentford attack in a largely one-sided affair that saw lone striker Marvin Sordell forced to feed off scraps up front.
The Bees struggled to find any rhythm against Nigel Clough's side who slowed the game down at every opportunity. The closest Brentford came to breaking the deadlock in a dire first half was when Nico Yennaris blazed over from the edge of the box after a well worked corner.
Burton's only effort of worth came after just three minutes when Turner headed Matty Palmer's inswinging free-kick narrowly over from close range.
Romaine Sawyers' effort midway through the half lacked conviction as the visitors adopted a defensive approach throughout to frustrate their hosts. After the break, Brentford tried to move the ball more quickly, but were repeatedly repelled on the edge of the Brewers' box with a no-nonsense clearance.
Substitute Sergi Canos thought he had stretched the Bees' 47th-minute lead just after the hour when he cut in from the right but saw his effort blocked by a desperate Luke Murphy block and his shot drifted inches wide.
Canos was at the heart of the action again minutes later when his cross from the right eluded the heads of both Yoann Barbet and Neal Maupay at the far post.
Barbet himself went close on 70 minutes with a low dipping free-kick which was well saved by Bywater. Sordell's hard work was almost rewarded a minute later when he latched on to a lofted throughball but could only find the side netting with a fierce low drive.
Turner's equaliser changed the complexion of the game and Brentford found more urgency but were denied in a late goalmouth melee. Both sides had injury-time chances to win in, Will Miller seeing his curling cross-cum-shot drift just wide of the far post for the visitors and Ollie Watkins firing over as he burst into the box.
Dean Smith: "It was a very poor performance, definitely the poorest of the season. I thought about making some changes to the team after (Saturday's 2-0 defeat at) Cardiff but felt they'd earned the chance to keep the shirts. We were pedestrian in the first half. I gave them a rocket at the break and they were okay for 15 minutes but for the last 15 they ran out of legs.
"It's the first time I've been disappointed in them as a group but I'll also take it on the chin because perhaps I should have freshened things up a bit too. I told them that it wouldn't be like (the 3-1 victory over) Leeds and that they would need to create an atmosphere, but we didn't trouble their keeper at all in the first half. We've got clever players but individually and collectively they were off it today."
Nigel Clough: "We created some reasonable opportunities throughout and we deserved the equaliser. With a bit more quality we could have got the winner. We are not going to come here and go toe-to-toe with Brentford, so I was delighted with how we executed the game plan to frustrate them.
"Away we have defended much better and made fewer mistakes than earlier in the season. It's strange how its turned around this season. I've no idea why. It's not as if we change much about the way we play. Maybe it's just that the pressure is off away from home."