Mar 8 2011 By Yann Tear
Karleigh Osborne Image 2
Brentford 0-1 Brighton
RICHARD Lee saved a 53rd minute penalty from Brighton goal machine Ashley Barnes but Nicky Forster's men were undone by a Karleigh Osborne own goal.
They managed to frustrate the league leaders until the 73rd minute, but the luckless Bees defender undid all the good work when he turned a low cross from Marcos Painter on the left past the heroic Lee.
The Brentford stopper did not deserve to be on the losing side.
He flung himself to his left to keep out the spot-kick after Osborne (pictured) was adjudged to have clipped the heels of Albion striker Glenn Murray.
But the penalty save was not his only contribution, because he also made two fine first half saves – blocking a close-range Murray header at a corner and later thwarting Barnes when the Albion striker had a clear sight of goal.
It typified a night of stubborn effort from the Bees, who refused to be cowed by the tidy passing from Gus Poyet's men, which inevitably led to the visitors monopolising possession for large chunks of the game.
And while the Bees often found themselves pinned back, they were far from an insignificant presence at the other end of the field, even after Charlie MacDonald was forced off with an ankle injury in the first half.
Sam Saunders' energetic promptings promised reward and he twice forced Albion keeper Casper Ankergren to make sharp saves in the first half, and Robbie Simpson's arrival in place of MacDonald ensured Brighton could not afford to go to sleep at the back.
In fact Saunders very nearly saved the day towards the end with a curling free-kick from the left edge that Brighto's keeper did well to keep out.
Overall, it was a much improved display after Saturday's tame defeat at Hartlepool and proves that the Bees are capable of trading punches with the best the division has to offer.