Bees draw again in further blow to promotion hopes


Brentford’s automatic promotion hopes took another blow as they drew for the fourth consecutive game.

The Bees simply couldn’t find a way past impressive Birmingham City keeper Neil Etheridge but, overall, lacked rhythm. Thomas Frank’s side remain third in the Championship and nine points behind Watford, who have played one more game.

Ahead of kick-off and having drawn their last three games, Brentford needed to make a statement against the relegation-threatened Blues. This was, in reality, a must-win encounter in order to retain any hopes of the top two – yet it was to prove another costly affair.

They missed a fantastic opportunity to go ahead after just five minutes.

Mathias Jensen, unmarked, blazed well over from around 15 yards out, after being set up neatly by Pontus Jansson. It was a chance the Dane clearly should have taken in order to settle the nerves of a team that could only draw at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Birmingham, meanwhile, served their own intent when they went close in 14 minutes. From an acute angle, Scott Hogan drilled a shot first time against the woodwork when the Bees failed to clear a low ball across the six-yard area.

Brentford were lacking conviction in different areas – and crucially so in front of goal when Sergi Canos missed a clear opening in the 28th minute.

The winger picked up on an incisive cross-field pass by Vitaly Janelt which eluded Kristian Pedersen, and with Blues keeper Etheridge advancing, he could only clip the ball inches past the post.

Brentford failed to start the second half with the necessary incision, with Lee Bowyer’s men organised and workmanlike.

Etheridge again rescued the visitors on 55 minutes when he denied Ivan Toney.

Brentford: Raya, Bech Sorensen, Pinnock, Jansson, Roerslev, Janelt (Ghdoddos 70), Norgaard, Jensen (Marcondes 70), Mbuemo (Fosu 77), Toney, Canos (Forss 85)