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FT: Brentford 2 Bantams 0
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Clayton Donaldson maintained his curse on his hometown club as City came up empty at high-flying Brentford.
Manningham-born Donaldson netted the second-half opener to break City’s stubborn resistance and the Bees went on to take the three points comfortably.
City were missing both James Hanson and Andrew Davies, while new loan recruit Adam Drury was on the bench.
With Aaron Mclean as the lone striker, Phil Parkinson set the visitors up to keep it tight and frustrate – and they did in the first half.
The Bees had most of the play but did little to ruffle the visitors. Had Chris Atkinson, making his full debut, shown a little more composure with his shot then City might have sneaked in front.
But Brentford stepped up a gear after the break – and their increasing pressure was rewarded after 61 minutes with a precise low finish from Donaldson.
He should have had another straight after but McLaughlin pulled off a fine double save.
But Brentford made their control count with a soft, deflected second by George Saville.
City tried a late rally but it needed another superb point-blank block from McLaughlin to deny Saville a third.
That's your lot. 2-0 to Brentford
Drury has got a card to celebrate his debut - a yellow card for a foul
Crowd is 8,063 with 958 City fans
A swing and a miss from Judge with an air shot on the edge of the City box
Five added minutes to play
Judge shot beaten out by McLaughlin...
Donaldson replaced by Dallas...
Terrific save from McLaughlin to somehow keep out Saville header from almost point-blank range...
Tarkowski towers above the crowd to clear but Jones forces another corner...
Another City corner
McHugh subbed by Drury for the left back's debut. Mclean also going off as Thompson comes on
McArdle flick header flashes across goal. It's close .... but not close enough
Corner for City. Maybe, just maybe??
Trotter shouting for a penalty from McLaughlin challenge but referee unimpressed. The Italian is lucky not to get booked for diving
Saville blasts another effort high and wide but Brentford are dominant
City shoot themselves in the foot by conceding a soft second. Lots of chances to clear the danger but SAVILLE converts with a deflected effort. 2-0 down
Jones picks out Gray but there is no power on the sub's downward header
Free-kick for City....
Sub Reeves has chance to increase City's misery but McHugh half-stops his first shot and McLaughlin saves second effort
Atkinson makes way for Gray as City resort to 4-4-2...
Saville takes it but his attempted curler clears far post
Donaldson's heels clipped level with the City D. More defending to do...
Crucial double save from McLaughlin to keep out headers from Trotta and Bidwell - and keep City in the game for now
It should be 2-0 as Trotta, with his first touch, sets up Donaldson six yards out. But the striker makes a pig's ear of chance and scoops over the bar...
And a second Brentford sub as Grigg is replaced by Trotta
City will have to re-think the game plan now.
Brentford make their first sub, Reeves for Forshaw
Brentford in front from the first shot on target of the game. Donaldson shifts ball cleverly before firing low into bottom corner from the edge of the box. 1-0 down...
Mclean all bandaged up now like a modern day Terry Butcher...
Darby stretches to intercept McCormack cross and almost puts it into his own net...
And finally we resume with Jones free-kick. McArdle gets in front of defender to make header but it's blocked and Bennett eventually scuffs shot wide.
Great effort from the city fans today! Down in london in numbers! @officialbantams #proud #bcafc— @lukedwardman 08 March 2014
Danny Wellbeck is being serenaded in the away end #bcafc http://t.co/iVjGSPHpib— @Kenzie1975 08 March 2014
Mclean came out on the wrong end of a clash of heads. Still being sorted by physio Matt Barrass
Parkinson furious as Mclean caught late. Striker down for more treatment
Donaldson gets on the end of Forshaw setpiece but cannot get enough on it and it bounces wide
Can clearly see that Brentford have a free-kick 25 yards out...
Clever run from Judge shimmies round the stanchion of the main stand.... great view of one end from the press box!
Ten shots in the game so far. Still to have one on target from anyone
Saville tries an optimistic drive from long range which bobbles away harmlessly
City do have some room on the break as Bees push more men forward. But the visitors need to be more positive in possession
Brentford have gone up a gear since the break
Closest yet from Brentford as Grigg's first-time half volley just beats far post. McLaughlin wouldn't have got there...
Another corner but flag up for a Brentford push
Taken short to Bidwell and McLaughlin punches clear through crowd.
McHugh takes one in the, ahem, bread basket from Donaldson. Corner to Brentford
City get us back underway..
Cheeky goal on the counter 2nd half City can nick it #hopeful #idtakeanilnil #bcafc— @joecockburn 08 March 2014
That's half the job done. 0-0 at the break
Much better run from Reach cutting in on the angle from the right wing. Finds enough space for a left-foot drive over the bar
Two minutes added on
Lack of conviction by City when they do go forward...
Jones attempts to ease the load on the defence with a burst forward. But Reach cannot keep his pass in play and back come Brentford...
Basically a game of attack and defence at the moment but City keeping it very tight
Bates makes room for a cross but the ball is too deep for intended target Reach
Fortunate touch from Doyle does enough to flick Grigg's cross out of harm's way
The away fans spot Hanson in the crowd and encourage him to "give them a song"..... disappointingly no sign of a quick chorus from the big man
Douglas under no pressure as he heads free-kick away...
Wingers switch sides. Bennett fould on the left to give City chance to pump ball into the Brentford box...
Great cross from Bidwell has McLaughlin at full stretch. Gets enough on it to palm on to Bates for Brentford corner
Button's goal kick shanks straight into touch and you can hear some frustrated grumbles from the stand
Brentford have had a lot of the ball but yet to really hurt the visitors. Disciplined display from City up to now
Best effort from Brentford so far. Tarkowski plays ball out of defence to Forshaw and Saville takes it on before driving just wide from 25 yards..
As the noise levels rise all round the ground, Darby rises "like a salmon" to head away Brentford free-kick
First Brentford chant gets an ironic cheer from the away end.
Tarkowski loops header over the bar but McLaughlin had it covered
Parkinson getting some stern words from referee Darren Bond after complaining too vociferously about a free-kick
Teams stop for drinks break as Mclean gets some treatment for knock off the ball
Mclean on the floor as City play on through Bennett. Good skills from the winger before laying ball back to Atkinson who hooks shot over the bar
Another good tackle from McHugh. Looks much happier back in his natural role in middle
City getting their tactics right so far but long way to go...
Judge creates some space for shot from 18 yards but drags it past near post
Jones whips in to near post. Drops to Doyle on penalty spot and Reach turns it back in but McHugh loops header well over
Corner for City...
Full length dive from McLaughlin to gather McHugh back header and prevent a corner
Very loud away support...
Hideously directed shot from Forshaw. Greeted with a chorus politely enquiring the nature of his effort...
McArdle denies Grigg cross at expense of first corner of the game
Donaldson finds space in corner of area but shot on turn flies well wide - and he kops plenty of stick from the travelling support
Bennett almost takes down Reach's deep cross but Brentford break fast. Important block from McHugh edge of his own box to deny Judge
Reach works hard to win City throw-in right by the corner flag. Chance to test Brentford for the first time
Tarkowski threads pass through massed ranks of City midfield but Forshaw shot charged down by McArdle
City fans making plenty of noise. Know their side is going to need support today
Brentford kicking off towards the end occupied by the City fans...
Brent-faaaarddd shouts the PA and out come the two teams. City in their natty sky blue ...
Surprised that Drury is not starting but then again he hasn't played a senior game since August so will lack match practice. Presumably, he will be in line to feature at Colchester on Tuesday
Pitch being watered now. Wouldn't have needed that a couple of weeks ago!
Warning: Brentford have won all 16 games this season when they are leading at half-time.
Then again, Stevenage had lost the same when they were trailing at the break. Until last week....
Pretty sure we'll go 4-4-2 in the second half, got a sneaky feeling either McBurnie or Gray will come on to get the winner #bcafc— @John_in_a_box 08 March 2014
Atkinson likely to play an attacking midfield role, making it a 4-4-1-1 when City have the ball. Otherwise 4-5-1...
Last time we were down here for the FA Cup in December 2012 it was baltic. Today it's a beautiful spring day - they were even firing up a barbeque in a garden round the corner!
PP needs to come on twitter day before every game just to find out what team and formation to play since there are so many experts 👌 #bcafc— @BantamsSte94 08 March 2014
Interesting line-up, game is going to be a bit different from August. #bcafc— @AidanFlood 08 March 2014
Clayton Donaldson has not scored for six games for Brentford. But the Manningham-born marksman loves to score against City!
Brentford have replaced Marcello Trotta with Will Grigg up front. Alan McCormack is also fit to return at right back.
BRENTFORD: Button, McCormack, Craig, Tarkowski, Bidwell, Forshaw, Douglas, Saville, Donaldson, Grigg, Judge. Subs: O'Connor, Dallas, Fillo, Reeves, Yennaris, Trotta, Lee.
Park the bus for a draw! #bcafc— @h4rvi 08 March 2014
We'll be lucky to get nil today #bcafc :(— @toddmustgo 08 March 2014
James Hanson tweaked his groin - that's why he's not playing although he is here.
Matty Dolan is not included because clubs can only name five loans in their 16-man squad. Adam Drury's arrival yesterday takes City's tally to six so Dolan is the odd man out.
City are missing Andrew Davies and James Hanson from the starting line-up.
Despite the club's confidence yesterday, Davies is still feeling his calf problem and has not been risked.
Hanson's absence is a mystery for now - he must have tweaked something in training because he seemed fine on Thursday morning.
Adam Drury's loan went through in time but the Leeds left back is still only on the bench. It looks like Matthew Bates will play there, with Carl McHugh moving back to centre half.
Chris Atkinson makes his full debut in a five-man midfield, with Aaron Mclean playing as the lone striker.
CITY: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Bates, Bennett, Jones, Doyle, Reach, Atkinson, Mclean. Subs: Jameson, Drury, Gray, Thompson, Yeates, McBurnie, Stockdill.
City have just been out for a look at the pitch, which looks very dry. No team news just yet
Knowing what city are like... I bet we will beat brentford today...#bcafc— @R_Taylor09 08 March 2014
Good afternoon and welcome from a sunny Griffin Park for one of City's toughest tests of the season.
They haven't won at Brentford since 2004 when Zema Abbey had an eventful debut, scoring and getting sent off inside the first 20 minutes.
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