Derby County vs Brentford match report: Darren Bent rescues point to heap frustration on Brentford

Derby County 1 Brentford 1

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The Independent Football

Darren Bent’s stoppage-time goal might have consequences for both these sides in a scramble for promotion that remains extraordinarily open, even with only three weeks left of the Championship season.

Darren Bent’s stoppage-time goal might have consequences for both these sides in a scramble for promotion that remains extraordinarily open, even with only three weeks left of the Championship season.

It rescued a point for Derby where none was deserved, enabling them again to cling on to their place in the top six in spite of their faltering form. This was particularly frustrating for  Brentford, who went ahead in the first half but missed chance after chance to secure the win that would have taken them to fifth.

They stay ahead of Wolves, beaten at Birmingham, but remain outside the play-off places after Ipswich’s win over Blackpool.

Brentford’s players were so disappointed, manager Mark Warburton admitted, that there were “heated words in the dressing room” after the final whistle. “But that just shows how far we’ve come, to come here and only get the one point against Derby and be disappointed,” he added. “We should have been two or three up.”

Injury-ravaged Derby, starting in an unfamiliar 4-4-2, began brightly, but two attempts by Tom Ince inside the first seven minutes was the limit of their threat to Brentford’s goal. The visitors, keeping possession more efficiently and passing more effectively, dominated thereafter.

Alan Judge was only inches wide with a free-kick and then played a role in the opening goal, supplying the pass which Alex Pritchard collected on the left before cutting inside and bending a superb shot  beyond the reach of goalkeeper  Lee Grant. It was a 10th goal of  the season for the 21-year-old  midfielder, who is on loan from Tottenham.

Derby, with only one win in their last nine matches, switched to their regular 4-3-3 for the second half but the balance of the contest remained the same and Brentford should have put themselves in control.

Striker Andre Gray missed three chances, captain Jonathan Douglas had a shot cleared off the line by the alert Craig Forsyth, and Pritchard, having sent Forsyth the wrong  way with a lovely turn, this time hit a weak attempt straight at  goalkeeper Grant.

Then for Brentford came the agony. With just two minutes of added time remaining, Bent was somehow left unmarked in an otherwise crowded box. He had time to take a couple of touches as Jeff Hendrick’s pass arrived at his feet, before poking the ball past David Button.

“I’d be disappointed, too, if I was Brentford manager,” Derby’s head coach, Steve McClaren admitted. “They were better than us. We made a lot of mistakes but we were brave and kept in the game and, on the way things have gone this season, maybe we deserved a bit of luck.”

Derby County: (4-4-2) Grant; Keogh, Albentosa, Forsyth, Warnock (Whitbread, 78); Ince, Hendrick, Bryson (Lingard, 78) Russell (Dawkins, h-t); Bent, Martin.

Brentford: (4-1-4-1) Button; Odubajo, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell; Diagouraga; Jota (Dallas, 70), Douglas, Judge, Pritchard (Toral, 86); Gray (Smith, 83).

Referee: Graham Scott

Man of the match: Diagouraga (Brentford)

Match rating: 7/10

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