Shrewsbury 0 - 0 Brentford
Brentford came to a wet and windy Shropshire looking to take no chances and came away with exactly what Uwe was looking for - a share of the spoils. Making four changes from the team that beat Colchester on Boxing Day (Forshaw and Forrester were rested and replaced by Diagouraga and Dallas, Kiernan replaced suspended Adeyemi and Logan reclaimed his right back position from Hodson) there is an argument that Uwe wanted to make sure we got through this game unscathed but with one eye on the Bournemouth game on New Years Day.
Bees started brightly. Clayton Donaldson, playing down the left played the ball into Trotta who turned and shot the ball wide of the post when he really should have hit the target. Shrewsbury then had a couple of chances including a mighty fine miss by Goldson just missing the target with Lee beaten. Bees had more half chances from the lively Trotta and Dallas, who made a good account of himself on his first start, but the game remained goalless at half time.
In the second half, Lee pulled off a save from Luke Rodgers to keep the score goalless. Once again, as they did at a Griffin Park, Shrewsbury looked like a side much better than their league position and were really taking the game to the Bees. Then on 65 minutes, Uwe decided to roll out the big guns and counter Shrewsbury`s attack minded game to inject a bit of excitement into the 522 Brentford placid (and cold) Brentford fans. On comes Forrester for Dallas and Forshaw for Trotta - flipping Donaldson up front once again as the main striker.
Jon Taylor had Lee well beaten but somehow Harlee Dean managed to head the ball off the line from what seemed like at the away end, a ridiculously impossible angle. Forrester went down in the box but no penalty was given - probably the right decision in all honesty. Hayes came on for Kiernan to give us some last minute attacking options but, other than Forshaw`s free kick at the end which narrowly went over the bar, the game remained deadlocked. Full time 0-0
Some people were complaining about negative tactics from Brentford and going for a draw but be under no illusions, this was a very good dealt under very tough conditions. Shrewsbury and their manager Graham Turner are no mugs and they`re going to take unexpected points from our rivals this season - just like Hartlepool unexpectedly had beaten Sheffield Utd that same day.
So another day out in yet another soul-less new-build stadium in the middle of nowhere. The stewards were at least less Gestapo-like about standing here but lets be under no illusion - we have to avoid this type of stadium at all costs at Lionel Road. As for the football - grinding out those results is now becoming our thing. Promotion is finally starting to become a reality.
Brentford: Lee, Logan, Dean, Craig, Bidwell, Kiernan (sub Hayes 73), Douglas, Dave, Dallas (sub Forrester 65), Donaldson, Trotta (sub Forshaw 65)
Subs not used: Gounet, Saunders, Hodson, Reeves.