Bees can’t find the killer sting
IPSWICH Town and Brentford played out a draw which smacked of two teams comfortably settled in Championship mid-table mediocrity.
Emyr Huws and Nico Yennaris shared first-half goals but only on occasions did the match threaten to burst into life thereafter.
Myles Kenlock did brilliantly to hook Sergi Canos’ shot off the line after the interval before Ipswich midfielder Cole Skuse almost capped a fine flowing move near the end but his shot lacked the power to beat Daniel Bentley.
In truth, the move was not in keeping with most of the game, one that Brentford shaded as the match wore on.
This fact was not lost on manager Dean Smith who felt his side could have left Suffolk with all three points.
Smith said: “We started quite well but then they took over and got the goal. We got back into it and scored a well-worked equaliser and then I thought we were the better team in the second half and looked most likely to win the game.
“It was a scrappy game but the pitch was slow and bobbly and doesn’t help with any flowing football.
“Neither goalkeeper was worked as much as they should have done. We had a lot of pressure and ball, but perhaps we didn’t have the quality in the final third.”
The season might still have two months to play, but the match had a typical end-ofseason feel to it – both on and off the pitch.
It took 26 minutes for the first real chance, but it was also the game’s opening goal when a patient build-up ended with Welsh internationals Tom Lawrence and Huws combining for the latter to find the net with a controlled finish.
But Brentford grabbed an equaliser just before the interval with an equally easy-on-the-eye move, Yennaris bursting into the box to latch on to a precise chip through by Romaine Sawyers.
It left the second half delicately poised but a rather flat 45 minutes followed. Canos was the biggest danger and the Brentford winger was only denied a winner by a combination of a fine block by Bartosz Bialkowski and the alert Kenlock clearing off the line.
Ipswich stretched their unbeaten run to six games but even an undefeated February against some of the division’s best doesn’t tell the whole story.
They have drawn five of those six matches and, conversely, they have only won once in ten and lost the lead in five of the last six matches.
Town boss Mick McCarthy was typically blunt in his postmatch assessment, admitting his side were a little fortunate to claim a point.
He said: “Brentford were very good while we weren’t particular good with the ball. They deserved the point and probably deserved to win it.
“I don’t know why that was, probably because they are a good side. We have played a lot better in the last five matches and we deserved more points than we have got.
“But we scrapped and fought and eight weeks ago, we probably would have lost that 3-1 and I would have had a face like thunder.
“I know it has been five draws but it is another point after a tough old time. It is a measure of the lads that they stuck at it when in the past we might have been beaten.”
SAFE HANDS: Brentford’s Daniel Bentley catches as Tom Lawrence challenges and, insets, Emry Huws scores and the two managers