Brentford miss their cue as Millwall deservedly earn share of the spoils
Brentford (0) 0
Millwall (0) 0
The Bees missed a glorious opportunity to apply serious pressure on Watford in the race for the second promotion slot as they drew another blank on home soil.
With news coming through that their nearest promotion rivals were losing at Luton, the incentive was there to narrow the gap to six points.
But in truth, this was another flat performance from the once invincible Bees, who failed to build on last week’s five-goal thumping of Preston and did not do enough to warrant victory.
It will be of little consolation that they improved greatly after a dreadful first half but not many clear chances came their way.
By contrast, this was a typically well-organised display from the Lions, who also fashioned a couple of half-chances to snatch all three points themselves.
There was an early moment of danger from them when Scott Malone connected sweetly with a hanging cross from the right by Danny McNamara, but the former Fulham defender’s volley was just too high from the edge of the six-yard box.
The Bees, by contrast, took a while to show their hand. Marcus Forss did eventually find space following a misplaced pass to get into space on the right, but failed to find a team-mate with his cross. Tariqe Fosu spurned an inviting path to goal on the left with a poor first touch.
Ivan Toney eventually got involved, having one shot blocked and clipping in a ball for Vitaly Janelt to get away – albeit high into the stands - but this was to be another frustrating afternoon for the marksman.
Forss probably came closest to getting the breakthrough soon after the restart when he shrugged off a weak challenge from George Evans inside the penalty area, but then lacked composure as he hammered his shot into the side-netting.
It was at least the prelude to a much better spell from the Bees, as they started pressing higher up the park and forced the Lions to retreat, as Thomas Frank brought on Sergi Canos, Saman Ghoddos and Emiliano Marcondes to help up the ante.
Yet there was still not enough devil in their play, while the deployment of Chris Norgaard in the heart of the defence perhaps denied them an important guiding presence in midfield. Mathias Jensen's form has also dipped at the wrong moment.
For Gary Rowett’s men, Ryan Woods was tigerish against his old club and the Jake Cooper-Alex Pearce axis looked dependable as ever in subduing Toney and Bryan Mbeumo.
Toney did not get many sighters although he nearly profited when Murray Wallace’s soft header forced Bartosz Bialkowski into a brave, smothering save at the striker’s feet.
That’s five draws in six games now for the |Bees and with just five to play, automatic promotion looks an increasingly distant prospect.
Bees: David Raya – Jansson, Norgaard, Pinnock – Janelt – Roerslev (Canos 70), Mbeumo, Fosu (Marcondes 74), Jensen (Ghoddos 70) – Forss, Toney. Subs not used: Daniels, Goode, Marcondes, Sorensen, Pressley, Stevens, Bidstrup
Lions: Bialkowski – M Wallace, Pearce, Cooper – McNamara, Kieftenbeld, Woods, Evans (Mitchell 77), Malone – J Wallace (Burey 90), Bennett (Bodvarsson 77). Subs not used: Fielding, Williams, Bradshaw, Ferguson, Romeo, Mahoney