New Brentford Boss Dean Smith will have watched his new team last night and came away knowing that, although there were a lot of positives to be taken from the draw against Bolton, there is certainly work to be done in turning the Bees into play-off contenders again.
The Bees looked dangerous on the counter attack all evening, and played some lovely flowing football in stages, but the intensity throughout the full ninety minutes, and quality in front of goal that should have secured the win, was lacking. Still, the Bees really should have come away with all three points, with Lasse Vibe no doubt kicking himself today for not taking the guilt edged chances that came his way.
Brentford fans made the journey to the North West in decent numbers considering the game was televised, and despite a worrying back-pass from James Tarkoswki in the open minutes, they witnessed their side go one up thanks to a beauty from John Swift, the Chelsea loanee curling in a 20-yarder in the tenth minute.
Bolton were in no moody to lay down and accept defeat, despite their players having not been paid last month, and they hit back in direct style, going close on a number of occasions and keeping David Button on his toes. However, the game should have been wrapped up before the break when Vibe was played clean through on goal with just Ben Amos to beat in the Bolton goal… instead of lifting his shot into an empty net, the Danish forward shot straight at the keeper’s legs.
Neil Lennon’s side are clearly not going to take relegation to League One laying down, and after the break they upped the ante through a series of raids on the Bees’ goal – David Button saving well from Shola Ameobi – but the Bees keeper could do nothing about the equalizer on 65 minutes from the boot of Neil Danns who lashed home a half-cleared corner that found the net off the foot of the post.
Bolton then almost scored a second, Button’s legs saving the day, but the Bees could and should have nicked it at the death when subs Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Sergi Canos both went agonizingly close, and Vibe forced a superb save from the Bolton keeper that, on another day, would have found the top corner.
The Bees fans who made the long journey back south after the match were in philosophical mood on the whole, however, there was a sense of two points dropped about the result. You can listen to the fans’ thoughts above, on the PrideOfWest.London post-match podcast
I’m sure Dean Smith will be excited at the potential of the squad he inherits, and we look forward to the game against MK Dons at the weekend to see if he can unlock even more from the team in the weeks and months ahead.