Match Report

 

Tue 23 Mar 10


The U's showed bundles of character in their latest home game to share the spoils against Brentford.

On the back of two away defeats, the U's fell two behind within twenty minutes and it looked like another tough evening ahead for Aidy Boothroyd's men.

However, they fought back to get level by half time and, although the Bees got their noses in front again, the home side again got all square.

As the game headed towards its conclusion, it always looked like the U's would be the ones to find a winner, but the game finished at three apiece.

Whilst the U's will have been disappointed not to have grabbed the seventh of the game, they can take huge amounts of confidence in their response to adversity in this match.

The U's made three changes to the side that had lost to Walsall at the weekend. Kem Izzet returned to replace John-Joe O'Toole, Ian Henderson came in down the right ahead of Ashley Vincent and Phil Ifil filled the vacant left back berth left by the injured Marc Tierney.

The U's started relatively brightly, with White sending an effort into the arms of Szczesny on five minutes.

However, they fell behind on thirteen minutes as a ball was thrust into the box from a free kick and, when it was only half cleared by the U's back line, Hunt steadied himself and volleyed home a fine effort into the bottom corner.

The U's almost responded within a couple of minutes, as a through ball from Prutton went through to Lisbie, but he was unable to get to the ball before the onrushing Szczesny collected at his near post.

And it went from bad to worse when Hunt turned provider to help double the Bees advantage. He thrust the ball into the six yard area, and Legge was on hand to power home a header.

The U's thought that they might have found a path to goal not long after Legge's strike, as the ball was half cleared to Lisbie and, with the keeper out of position, he tried to find a path to the empty goal.

However, he was unable to get a lift on his effort and Szczesny was a relieved man as he collected the ball whilst still on his way back to his six yard box.

And the U's went even closer on 22 minutes as a well crafted move from the home side saw Ifil swing in a cross to the far post.

Wordsworth's effort fell between himself and the keeper and again Szczesny was the first to get to it and collect the loose effort.

The U's were being troubled by the Bees' set pieces and found MacDonald causing trouble on 25 minutes, turning and forcing Williams into a smart stop at his near post.

They managed to pull one back from open play on 33 minutes though, as some persistence from Platt twice in the move saw the ball eventually end up by the byline with Henderson.

His low cross was deflected over his keeper by Hunt, and it dropped into the far side netting to give the U's hope.

The U's were now suddenly a yard quicker to the ball as they gained some confidence from getting their goal.

They had a worry as Weston sprung the offside trap, but good defending from Ifil and White ensured that he would be left to rue not taking an earlier shot.

Wordsworth and Lisbie nearly contrived another chance four minutes later, only for the ball not to settle in their favour, but there was more to latch onto for the home support.

Lisbie then followed that up by chasing down some uncertain defending by Osborne, lifting his effort from close range over the bar.

But the striker's persistence won support from the home fans, who could see their side chasing down the ball at all opportunities.

The U's were on the front foot now and went close again on 42 minutes as the ball was helped into the path of Prutton and his acrobatic volley was deflected over the bar.

Henderson was causing all kinds of problems down the Brentford left, and he saw the U's go close again as injury time started.

The ball was knocked down by the impressive Platt and, as Lisbie stretched for the ball, he could only smash his effort past the post.

The U's were finishing the half on the front foot and ended with a corner, which Strevens deflected only inches over his own crossbar.

And from the next set piece, the U's drew level. Prutton swung it across to the far post and it was Wordsworth at the far post who buried his header, despite an effort on the line to clear it.

The U's tried to continue their efforts after the restart, but were met with a more resistant Bees in the first five minutes.

But they almost found their way to goal on 51 minutes as Lisbie persisted down the right and centred a low ball.

Wood turned the ball against his own keeper, who saved superbly, before the prone Prutton could only strike his low shot into the arms of Szczesny.

Henderson, now playing down the left, got a cross past two men a minute later and Lisbie twice got shots away, only to see both blocked by the visiting defence.

Lisbie showed superb persistence to wrestle his way past Hunt and then found himself felled by the Bees man as he tried to wriggle towards goal.

The resulting free kick was delivered with fantastic quality and was met by Okuonghae, whose effort appeared to be deflected over the bar, but a goal kick was given.

The U's hard work was undone as they fell behind again on 57 minutes. Okuonghae was robbed on the flank by MacDonald and the striker continued his run into the box, and slotted a low shot past Williams at the near post.

Lisbie was booked just after the hour mark as the referee adjudged that he had dived in the box. Wood had blocked his run as he went towards goal and the striker fell to the ground, but to no avail in the referee's eyes.

The Bees had been revived by their goal, and the U's looked to get their show back on the road midway through the half, as Henderson was replaced by Gillespie for the final quarter of the game.

The visitors went close on 71 minutes, as Strevens glanced a header wide, with which he should have done better from close range.

And that miss proved crucial as the U's made it 3-3 with fifteen minutes remaining.

Another superb run from Lisbie had the Beespanicking and his low cross to the near post had Prutton dashing across the near post to turn the ball home and give the U's hope again.

The duo repeated the feat two minutes later as Ifil fed the ball to Lisbie and Prutton's header at the far post was well collected by Sczcesny with a fine save.

They then had a free kick from the right, won for a handball by a Bees man, and Platt could only turn his header over the bar.

The Bees were keen to slow the game down wherever possible, but the U's knew that the final five minutes of the season could be massive for their promotion hopes.

The home side won a series of corners as the clock ran down, each going closer to finding the way to the elusive seventh goal of the game.

There were to be four additional minutes of time for the U's to get that winner, but the Bees had taken the sting out of the game as it got to this point.

Indeed, when well placed in the U's corner, they decided to keep the ball in the corner rather than go for goal.

And it stopped the U's getting that winner, but they had shown plenty of spirit in getting something out of the game.
    Data provided by Press Association

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