Oldham Athletic 1 Brentford 1

Last updated : 08 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Scott Vernon rescued a point for Oldham as they were held to a 1-1 draw against ten man Brentford at Boundary Park.

The return of John Sheridan to Oldham's line up failed to inspire them to a victory over the Bees.

Sheridan, the caretaker boss since Iain Dowie left for Crystal Palace, made his first start since taking over, but he was left frustrated by his side's inability to wrap up a vital win.

Oldham dominated long spells but Brentford keeper Paul Smith was in outstanding form as he protected the game's first goal, scored by Bees striker Ben May.

Smith was eventually beaten by Vernon but the visitors held on despite a red card for on loan Chelsea man Joel Kitamirike.

Kitamirike picked up a booking in each half and sat out the final 17 minutes, but his boss insisted Brentford's poor disciplinary record was no problem.

Wally Downes said "It isn't as though we are going round punching people, getting booked is an occupational hazard." He added: "The lads battled hard for a point but I'm upset because you spend all week working on a system and then fail to close the game out.

"We have been in good positions many times in the last few games and we need to start being a lot more clinical." Hero keeper Smith made two saves from Jermaine Johnson before Brentford struck their first blow in the 14th minute.

Michael Dobson's corner was knocked back from the far post and May got there first to bundle in from close range.

Johnson tried a long range lob and Danny Boshell blasted wide as Oldham began to take control. And they continued to pile forward after the break only for Smith to make a brilliant one handed stop from defender Will Haining.

Oldham's equaliser came on 54 minutes as John Eyre crossed from the right and Vernon headed in from close range at the near post.

Eyre went close again before Kitamirike got his second booking for a foul on Johnson but Oldham could not find another breakthrough.