Brentford 0-0 Norwich: 10-man Norwich held by Brentford after Robbie Brady red
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 31/12/16 8:19pm
Brentford played out a 0-0 draw with 10-man Norwich, who had Robbie Brady sent off late in the second half at Griffin Park on New Year's Eve.
Norwich striker Cameron Jerome was guilty of missing two glorious chances as the visitors looked more likely to score in a cagey game in West London.
Brady was shown a straight red card in the 80th minute for a strong challenge on Ryan Woods, before Ryan Bennett denied Scott Hogan late on with an inch-perfect tackle inside the penalty area.
The result means Norwich remain 12th in the Championship, with Brentford ending 2016 in 15th position.
The first half began slowly with Norwich looking the team more likely to score first, and their two best chances of the half would land to Jerome.
Jerome, who was making his 100th appearance for Norwich, had one of the game's best chances in the sixth minute. The 30-year-old met Brady's curled ball from the left-hand side, but his close-range header was straight at goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
In the 11th minute, a placed shot from Crystal Palace loanee Sullay Kaikai was hit straight at John Ruddy from just outside the box.
Then it was Bees defender Andreas Bjelland who would be the man to stop Jerome from scoring with just ten minutes left of the half to play.
Brady made a mazy run into the box before setting up Jerome for what looked to be an easy tap-in, only for the Denmark international to slide in and make a crucial block.
Brentford's best opportunity of the half came from a tidy through ball by Nico Yennaris to Scott Hogan in the penalty box, but he got the ball stuck under his feet and his strike went well wide of Ruddy's near post.
The second half began in a scrappy fashion with no real chances on goal until, with less than a quarter of the game left, Jerome missed a gilt-edged chance.
Ivo Pinto surged up the right flank and cut a pass back for Jerome who, from around six-yards out, blazed his strike over the bar to the horror of the Norwich away support. Then just moments later, Pinto had a drilled shot well saved by Bentley.
The turning point of the game arrived with ten minutes left to play as Brady, who was one of the liveliest performers on the pitch, was controversially sent off for a strong tackle on Woods.
The sending off saw Brentford launch more men forward as they looked to end 2016 with all three points. But despite a goal-saving interception by Bennett from a Hogan strike in the 89th minute, the Bees failed to make their pressure count.
Brentford manager Dean Smith
"They probably showed more quality on the ball than we did at times. Probably our two forwards played too far apart at times.
"The first 25 minutes of the second half we did a lot better but we didn't do enough to win the game."
Norwich manager Alex Neil
"I thought we played well. We had probably had five clear-cut chances. A one-on-one with the goalkeeper. It was probably the difference of winning the game and not.
"I thought Cameron put in a good performance but just that final little bit when he needs to hit the target and score the goal was crucial for us. Unfortunately he wasn't able to do that but it wasn't for a lack of effort."