Ipswich Town 1–1 Brentford
Jonathan Douglas earned Brentford a point at Portman Road as Brentford stayed just ahead of hosts Ipswich in the race for the Championship play-offs this afternoon.
In the 4-2 home defeat to the same side on Boxing Day, the Bees had allowed Ipswich an early head start by allowing Daryl Murphy to open the scoring in the first minute.
Although today's was not quite so bad a rude awakening, it was that man Murphy who again broke the deadlock, this time having the courtesy to wait 10 minutes before poking in a corner from the right which was flicked on at the far post.
It could have got worse for the Bees as Murphy twice more went close, while strike partner Freddie Sears almost broke through but was denied by a block from Liam Moore, who got back well.
As the Bees started to find their feet, Alex Pritchard drew an excellent save from home keeper Dean Gerken following neat one-two with Stuart Dallas before the equaliser arrived midway through the first half, Dallas's shot from Alan Judge's cross being blocked but sitting up nicely for Jonathan Douglas to nod home from a few yards out.
Brentford were looking dangerous on the break at this point, and two of them almost led to a second goal as Judge heads just over from a Pritchard before Gray fired wide from Pritchard's pull back .
But it was a break from the other end which almost lead to Brentford's downfall on the stroke of half time, when a free kick played short for Judge was nicked by former Bee Jay Tabb, but as Ipswich broke in numbers and looked certain to score, the Bees just about scrambled it clear.
If that was a let off, the Bees were truly counting their blessings just after the break when sloppy defending from Moore and Moses Odubajo let in Jonathan Parr, whose cross found Murpy unmarked a few yards out, but the Ipswich man somehow contrived to skew his shot over.
A series of half chances followed – Gray twice going close for Brentford, as did Murphy and Tyrone Mings for the hosts, with neither keeper seriously stretched until David Button had to get down well to keep out Parr.
Pritchard had a sniff of a late winner, but Christophe Berra got back to block well, and it finished honours even.
BEES : Button, Odubajo, Tarkowski, Moore (Dean 76), Bidwell, Diagiuraga, Douglas, Pritchard, Judge (Jota 71), Gray (Long 79), Dallas. Subs not used: Bonham, Dean, McCormack, Toral, Smith.