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Gillingham 1 Brentford 1

Adebayo Akinfenwa Picture: Barry Goodwin
Adebayo Akinfenwa Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham were denied their first win of the season when Brentford equalised in the fifth minute of injury-time on Saturday.

Substitute Farid El Alagui bundled home Harlee Dean's flick from an Adam Forshaw free-kick to snatch a 1-1 draw for The Bees. Four minutes' added time had been signaled.

It was cruel on Gills who had a big penalty appeal turned down seconds later when substitute Cody McDonald went down.

Manager Martin Allen paired Adebayo Akinfenwa and Danny Kedwell up front for the first time. It was a move that paid off when they combined for Gills' first goal of the season in the 40th minute.

Myles Weston's right-foot cross was knocked back by Kedwell to Akinfenwa, whose shot had just enough on it to beat David Button in the Bees goal.

Brentford - one of the favourites to win League 1 - made the brighter start at Priestfield with highly-rated midfielder Forshaw pulling the strings.

Shaleum Logan saw a 25-yard effort whistle past the post, then Dean headed a Forshaw free-kick straight at Nelson when he probably should have scored.

A foul by the busy Charlie Lee on the edge of the box gave Forshaw the chance to go for goal. He strike beat the wall but went wide.

The visitors continued to threaten with Toumani Diagouraga blazing over after exchanging passes Logan on the break.

There was at last some joy for Gills on 23 minutes when Weston broke from midfield and fed Joe Martin.

He beat his man and sent in a cross which Akinfenwa pulled back to Lee, who fired over from the edge of the box.

Gills players and fans were fired up by the number of decisions that went Brentford's way.

They fed off their frustration and got at the visitors more towards the end of the half, although Clayton Donaldson had a header ruled out for offside for the away team.

Brentford also had a glorious chance to equalise when Tony Craig sent a free header wide moments after Akinfewna's opener.

There was an end-to-end start to the second half.

Forshaw hit the base of the post from 25 yards on the hour as Gills backed off. At the other end, moments after Akinfenwa was replaced by Cody McDonald, Lee played in Weston whose cracking strike was parried by Button.

Gills fans screamed for a penalty when Lee went down from the loose ball but referee Gavin Ward stood firm.

Forshaw dragged an effort wide after finding space 25 yards out as the match moved into the last 20 minutes. Brentford looked to force the issue in the last five minutes and found plenty of space as Gills dropped off.

Conor McAleney, Javi Venta and Alan McCormack combined to play in Donaldson but Nelson saved with his feet. Logan then headed wide at the far post from a Venta cross before a tricky run by McAleney saw Donaldson's deflected strike hit the outside of the post in injury-time.

Gills looked set to hold on but Brentford salvaged a point.

Gillingham: Nelson, Harriman, Martin, Barrett, Legge, Gregory, Whelpdale, Lee, Weston (Allen 82mins), Akinfenwa (McDonald 62mins), Kedwell. Subs not used: Davies, Dack, German, Howard, Grant.

Brentford: Button, Forshaw, Craig, Dean, Donaldson, Grigg (El Alagui 74mins), McCormack, Logan, Saville, Diagouraga (McAleny 56mins), Bidwell (Venta 16mins). Subs not used: O'Connor, Saunders, Bonham, Fillo.

Attendance: 6,225


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