Last updated : 27 February 2002 By Paul Fitzsimons
The Bees kept faith with the same personnel that had got a point at Peterborough the previous week and with that in mind they started the game off in confident fashion against a side which had desperately struggled all season,in spite of being widely predicted as being one of the promotion favourites last August.

However for all their possession the Bees failed to breach a well marshalled County defence in the 1st half with Owusu,Burgess and Powell being denied by County custodian Barden,who was in fine form, whilst several other chances were wasted as a result of wayward finishing.

The second half started off in similar vain with Brentford doing most of the pressurising whilst County were quite content to defend deeply and hope to hit the Bees on the break.It was a tactic which was to produce dividends for the Magpies on 58 minutes.Gary Owens,who had been booed throughout by large sections of the crowd,received the ball deep in the Brentford half.He carried the ball 20 yards and laid it off to the County left winger who swung in a deep cross which was met by Darren Caskey whose header beat Paul Smith at the far post to the sheer delight of the sparse County travelling contigent who had made the trip south.

Brentford were stung by this and proceeded to pile the pressure on looking for the all important equaliser.However their attacks were repelled easily enough by the County rearguard and it seemed as though it was going to be "one of those days". However manager Steve Coppell had an ace up his sleave and proceeded to play it on 74 minutes when he replaced Gavin Mahon with Martin Rowlands.This meant that Sidwell switched into centre midfield with Rowlands taking up the right wing role. It was a change which was to turn the game on its head.Just 2 minutes afterwards Brentford had a way back into the game.Owusu received a long goal kick and laid it off to Rowlands. He jinked his way past a couple of County players and sent over a hanging cross which seemed to be heading for an unmarked Ben Burgess in the box, until Ian Barraclough intervened with his hand to stop the ball getting there. It was a clear penalty and the ref had no hesitation in giving it,despite the protests from several County players.Paul Evans stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way with the penalty to level up the score.

The Bees went hunting for a winner and piled on even more pressure on the County goal.Eventually it had to tell and so it proved in the final minute of the game.A throw in from Ijah Anderson on the left was controlled by Stephen Hunt who laid the ball down the line to Owusu.He raced on and whipped over a low cross which was controlled superbly by Ben Burgess with his first touch and with his second he despatched the ball into the right corner of the net to send Bees fans wild with delight.

Seconds later the referee blew his whistle to signify that the Bees had clawed their way to another 3 invaluable points in their quest for promotion to Division One.

Match Ratings

Paul Smith 6
Michael Dobson 6
Ijah Anderson 7
Darren Powell 6
Ivar Ingimarsson 6
Stephen Hunt 7
Paul Evans(c) 7
Gavin Mahon 6
Steve Sidwell 7
Lloyd Owusu 8*
Ben Burgess 7

Martin Rowlands(for Mahon 74 mins) 7
Alan Julian n/a
Kevin O'Connor n/a
Paul Gibbs n/a
Mark McCammon n/a

Paul Fitzsimons