Dec 10 2011 By Yann Tear
Niall McGinn Image 1
Brentford 2-1 Hartlepool United
IT WAS a long time coming, but Brentford finally reacquainted themselves with finding the net late on to claim a rare home win.
They had been in danger of seeing all their good work go to waste again, as was the case in midweek at Barnet in the JP Trophy.
But just when the frustration levels were starting to slide off the scale, Niall McGinn (pictured) found the net with seven minutes to go – thanks to a hefty slice of goalkeeper error.
Even then, a win nearly eluded them as defender Sam Collins found the bottom corner a minute later with a shot from outside the area for the managerless visitors.
But within seconds, Toumani Diagouraga had earned a penalty after wriggling into the area and being upended by Antony Sweeney.
Gary Alexander put the spot-kick away at the second time of asking after his first shot was saved by keeper Scott Flinders, but rolled back into the striker's path.
That summed up Flinders' day really as he was badly at fault for the opener. McGinn raced onto a long ball from Richard Lee flicked on by Alexander.
The Bees midfielder did not look to have got enough purchase on his lob, but Hartlepool's keeper allowed the ball to squirm through his fingers.
Lucky it may have been, but the win was fully merited.
The shyness in front of goal that has dogged the Bees of late was in evidence again in a first half they dominated without reward.
Within the first 10 minutes, both strikers had been involved, with Clayton Donaldson shaving the far post with a low left foot drive from the edge of the area and Alexander heading a Sam Saunders free-kick just over.
It set the theme for a half the Bees should have finished with a lead – Alexander having directed a close range header straight at Flinders when Saunders launched another free-kick into the box, this time from the right.
A minute later, McGinn, who had already gone close, picked up a loose pass and drifted past two defenders into the area before sending his final shot into the side netting.
Hartlepool did not venture into the Bees half too much after the break, but still created alarm for Uwe Rosler's men when Gary Liddle collected a defence-splitting ball down the right and only a last-ditch tackle from Shaleum Logan denied Andy Monkhouse a certain goal when the ball was played across the face of the six yard box.
And from the resulting corner, Adam Boyd was left unmarked at the near post, but headed over, with Lee totally exposed. But they did nowhere enough to merit more and their equaliser came totally against the run of play.
The Bees did well not to allow that setback to become the final word.
Line-up: Lee; Logan, Dean, Legge, Bidwell; McGinn, Diagouraga, Douglas, Saunders; Donaldson, Alexander. Subs not used: Bean, Eger, Grella, Weston, Oyeleke.