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Brentford were forced to come from behind twice in this largely uninspiring Boxing Day encounter, with the injury time header from Kai Kai really saving the day.

A bumper Griffin Park crowd had hoped for a little more Festive cheer against Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds, but unfortunately the Bees were too predictable and without width until Kai Kai’s second half introduction – and it was the Crystal Palace loanee who finally produced the spark in front of goal.

The Bees did start the brighter, and went close on a couple of occasions, and in truth, the home side could count themselves very unlucky to concede the penalty that set the refereeing tone for the rest of the afternoon. The referee, Simon Hooper, pointing to the spot for the most innocuous offence, then refusing to do so again when faced with far more clear-cut infringements in the area. Brentford have not had a single spot kick awarded in their favour all season.

After going behind the game started to get more and more frustrating – there was plenty of possession but Scott Hogan looked the only outlet – which was plain to everyone in the ground including the Cardiff rear-guard who seemed to cope with the threat well.

It was the double substitution of Kai Kai and McEachran that finally turned the tide, and after a prolonged spell of pressure and a couple of stunning saves from Brian Murphy in the visitor’s goal, the breakthrough came thanks to a great run down the left wing by Tom Field, who pulled the ball back for Kai Kai to slam the ball into the back of the Ealing Road net.

The Bees then looked to sense a win was possible after all and move up a gear with their tails up, however, a long punted clearance caught us way too light at the back – Zahore easily shrugging off Field to poke the ball into the net past the exposed Bentley – which looked likely to seal an undeserved win.

Brentford, thankfully, had another Christmas cracker up their sleeve though, with Kai Kai once again finding the perfect headed finish in the nick of time from a delicious cross from John Egan – the ball evading the keeper’s dive to nestle in the side netting and Griffin Park erupted.

As you will hear from the comments in the Pride of West London post match Podcast, click the link above, the fans felt the final score, although most welcome when the game looked lost, papered over the cracks and Dean Smith’s side, over the course of the 90 minutes, should have had enough about them to see off a pretty average Cardiff side.

Brentford need to raise their game, and gain revenge for the recent drubbing at Norwich on New Year’s Eve when the Canaries visit Griffin Park.

Dave Lane