Bees can take heart from draw at Stoke – Smith

[/media-credit] Dean Smith is pleased with Brentford’s start

Brentford boss Dean Smith praised his players after their 1-1 draw at Stoke.

The Bees gifted their hosts a cheap opener when a defensive mix-up allowed Benik Afobe to tap in. But Brentford bounced back and Ollie Watkins’ terrific long-range strike restored parity after 66 minutes.

Smith said: “Stoke have a talented squad so for us to come here and dominate is very pleasing for me. The players can take a lot of belief from this result.”

Smith refused to criticise his players for the hosts’ opener and was happy with how his relatively young squad reacted to the gaffe.

Captain Chris Mepham attempted a routine header back to Dan Bentley but the goalkeeper chose to dash out of his area and the ball bypassed him, handing Afobe his gift.

Smith said: “It was a mistake and it can happen. I thought we were then the better team in the second half.

“The character and spirit from the players was there in the second half and we eventually put that right with a great goal.”