Brentford 1 Bournemouth 1
Leon Legge’s injury-time goal rescued a point for Brentford, but their New Year’s resolution must still be to improve the dismal home form which threatens to wreck their play-off chances.
Legge’s header from Clayton Donaldson’s left-wing cross spared his side a sixth league defeat at Griffin Park this season.
The dramatic equaliser came after Charlie Sheringham had scored an 18th-minute opener for Bournemouth, beating the offside trap to control Simon Francis’ ball into the box before finding the corner of the net.
For their sheer persistence, Uwe Rosler’s men perhaps deserved their point despite a poor display.
It was all very different to the 6-0 hammering Brentford dished out when these teams met in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy seven weeks ago.
For starters, Mike Grella, who scored four goals that night, was not in the starting line-up this time.
Gary Alexander was – and had Brentford’s best chance of the first half, heading wide at the far post after being found by Toumani Diagouraga’s cross.
The home team continued to struggle after the break and were fortunate not to go further behind when Shaun MacDonald’s 51st-minute shot hit the post.
Sam Saunders then produced a rare moment of quality, making room for a shot with some trickery on the edge of the box and trying his luck with an effort that was comfortably saved by keeper Darryl Flahavan.
Grella replaced defender Shaleum Logan with 15 minutes remaining, but even with a more attacking line-up the Bees barely troubled their opponents, and on-loan centre-back Harlee Dean sliced an effort embarrassingly high and wide.
Yet just as Bournemouth seemed home and dry – and as some of the home fans appeared ready to vent their frustration on the approaching final whistle – Legge saved the day.