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16:59 12th September 2009


Town kept their first clean sheet of the League One season against reigning League Two Champions Brentford on a glorious afternoon in West Yorkshire, but could not breakdown a resolute Bees defence to gain all three points.

The visitors battled gamely throughout a disjointed game and although some of Town's build-up play was good, the Terriers could not break the deadlock and had to be satisfied with a point.

Town started the game at their usual high tempo in the searing heat and created the first half chance of the game on the stroke of the 7th minute when Rhodes stole the ball from defender Bennett down the right flank; a defender got back to clear his eventual cross with Gary Roberts lurking nearby, but Bees goalkeeper Price did well to tip over Antony Kay's brilliant volley from range when the ball broke on the edge of the box.

Pilkington flashed a great cross into the opposition penalty area soon afterwards, but Brentford were giving as good as they got in the early stages. Town were struggling to get the ball on the floor in midfield, whereas skipper Peter Clarke was negating any attacking threat at the opposite end.

Lee Clark switched wingers Pilkington and Roberts as the half hour mark approached in an attempt to change the flow of the game, but other than a couple of pacey breaks from Robinson nothing was coming off for the Terriers on their own turf.

BOOKING - Referee Webb booked Brentford's Kevin O'Connor in the 36th minute after his foot was raised too high in a challenge with Danny Drinkwater.

The visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure five minutes from the end of the half, with a number of long-throws and corners peppering Town's penalty area, and the home fans were grateful to Peter Clarke for his sliding block that denied Steve Kabba a clear shot at goal.

Town's best chance of the half came just two minutes from the break when a mix-up between two Bees defenders allowed Robinson to pick out Roberts on the right flank with a raking pass. Robbo advanced into the area with the ball, but after his initial shot was blocked by a defender he dragged his follow-up effort wide of Price's left-hand post.

Antony Kay drilled a 30-yard shot with his left foot straight at the goalkeeper in added time before his header from a Drinkwater corner was blocked in the last meaningful acts of the half.


Town came out of the tunnel for the second 45 minutes in determined fashion and created the best chance of the game after barely a minute of the restart. A ball down the left from Gary Roberts saw Robinson outmuscle defender Bennett before entering the area, but unfortunately he placed his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Two minutes later Kay picked out Pilkington on the flank, but his superb in-swinging delivery was headed over the crossbar in agonising fashion by Jordan Rhodes from ten yards out. Manager Lee Clark had his head in his hands, but must have been pleased to see his side pick up the tempo.

Brentford enjoyed a rare attack in the 53rd minute when winger Weston did well down the left, but his dangerous cross was tipped to safety by the outstretched hand of Smithies before Joe Skarz cleaned up the mess.

Drinkwater tested the goalkeeper with a powerful long range drive in the 55th minute, but Lewis Price was equal to it.

BOOKING - Peter Clarke was shown his second yellow card of the season a minute later for a crude challenge on striker Charlie MacDonald by the touchline.

Town were starting to pile the pressure on their visitors and tried to recreate their winning goal at MK Dons in the 61st minute. A Drinkwater corner, delivered from the right flank, was met by the head of Kay at the near post but unfortunately, he directed the ball wide of the near post.

Drinkwater had a free-kick deflected wide of goal by a defender in the 69th minute

SUB - Town boss Clark made his first substitution in the 72nd minute, with Lee Novak replacing Theo Robinson.

Soon afterwards Brentford winger Cleveland Taylor spurned the best chance of the game; after Steve Kabba had got goal-side of Peter Clarke down the left channel he crossed low to the near post, but the former Carlisle winger slid the ball well wide of the post when it was easier to score.

MacDonald hammered a volley wide of the near post from an acute angle in the 75th minute and as the Town faithful realised that their side needed a lift they delivered, finding their voices all over the ground.

SUB - Lee Clark made his final throws of the dice in the 81st minute, bringing on Robbie Simpson and Michael Collins for Jordan Rhodes and Antony Kay.

SUB - Brentford made their first substitution of the game with six minutes left, replacing Steve Kabba with Sam Saunders.

Pilkington then picked out Roberts with a tremendous 50-yard cross-field pass that put his fellow winger through on goal; he advanced before pulling the ball back across the face of goal and after narrowly evading Simpson at the near post, Novak's shot was cleared off the line by a defender.

SUB - Brentford made their second change of the game with a minute left, with Marcus Bean replacing David Hunt.

Town pressed their opponents for the four minutes of added time, with Novak finding the wrong side of the side-netting with a back-post header, but couldn't find a breakthrough.


Town's Team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Joe Skarz, Andy Butler, Peter Clarke (c), Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts, Danny Drinkwater, Antony Kay (Michael Collins 81), Anthony Pilkington; Theo Robinson (Lee Novak 72), Jordan Rhodes (Robbie Simpson 81)

Unused Substitutes: Matt Glennon, Nathan Clarke, Robbie Williams, James Berrett

Town Booking: Peter Clarke (56)

Brentford Booking: Kevin O'Connor (36)

Attendance: 12,020

Visitors: 319

Stockport Poster 320

    Data provided by Press Association


    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.