Rankin thwarted as Hartlepool dig in

Brentford 0 - Hartlepool 0

Brentford and Hartlepool will both go into the hat for the fifth round after battling out a goalless draw at Griffin Park. Chances were few and far between as both sides cancelled each other out, and Brentford's Isaiah Rankin will rue missing a gilt-edged chance to put the Bees into the next round with just 15 minutes of the tie remaining.

Brentford and Hartlepool will both go into the hat for the fifth round after battling out a goalless draw at Griffin Park. Chances were few and far between as both sides cancelled each other out, and Brentford's Isaiah Rankin will rue missing a gilt-edged chance to put the Bees into the next round with just 15 minutes of the tie remaining.

Rankin shrugged off a defender to go one on one with the visiting goalkeeper, Demitrios Konstantopoulos, only to dither over his shot and see his run ended with a desperate tackle.

Brentford's Jay Tabb saw a 20-yard drive bounce to safety off the foot of the post as Brentford poured forwards after the break. But Hartlepool were always a threat, with Antony Sweeney and Adam Boyd going close.

The Brentford substitute Andy Frampton might have won it late on, but his 30-yard pile driver was tipped round the post by Konstantopoulos.

Brentford were rocked in the second half when their midfield duo of Stuart Talbot and Eddie Hutchinson were forced to go off injured, but could count themselves unlucky not to have settled it without a replay.

The Brentford manager, Martin Allen, said: "We're still in the hat and that's the most important thing. It was a great FA Cup tie."

His opposite number, Neale Cooper, said: "We knew what to expect from Brentford. They are a very strong side, they work hard for each other and we had to compete in every area."

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