Walsall 1–1 Brentford
Brentford's attempt to make it a club record equalling ninth win in a row ended in a stalemate at Walsall this afternoon.
The Bees took the lead on 29 minutes when a sweeping move ended with an inch perfect Jake Bidwell cross from the left being met by a clinically cushioned header at the far post by Clayton Donaldson, steering the ball expertly round the keeper.
Alan Judge came close to doubling the lead when his effort from the edge of the area just deflected just wide after Alan McCormack's stinging cross from the right was punched out to him by home keeper Richard O'Donnell.
But the Bees shot themselves in the foot a minute before the break when they failed to clear their lines and Adam Chambers' cross from the right was headed back across goal at the far post by Milan Lalkovic for Craig Westcarr to nod home from point blank range.
Brentford were gifted the chance to re-take the lead on 53 minutes when O'Donnell's attempted kick out to Andy Taylor straight to Donaldson, but the striker's attempt to catch the keeper off his line sailed over at the far post.
Walsall had a penalty appeal waved away when Romaine Sawyers went down under the challenge of Bidwell in the box, while down at the other, a superb first time ball from McCormack set free Donaldson, whose sublime cross was met in the middle by Marcello Trotta, who could not keep his shot down and fired over with the goal at his mercy.
A cross shot from Lalkovic then flew wide for Walsall, before Bidwell produced a carbon copy at the other end, while David Button did well to superbly tip over a cracking effort from outside the area by Sawyers and a George Saville pile driver was blocked by Andy Butler.
Craig blocked an effort from Lalkovic and Paul Downing put a free header over from the resulting corner as the hosts pushed for a winner, which almost arrived when Westcarr fired over following a sustained spell of Walsall pressure.
Sub Stuart Dallas so nearly found a winner for Brentford seconds after coming on, turning and running at the home defence before dragging his shot just wide of the far post, and was then a few inches too short to get on the end of a Chuba Akpom cross.
Tony Craig was lucky to escape with an injury time booking for scything down Westcarr as Walsall broke away, but the game finished all square.
BEES: Button, McCormack, Craig, O'Connor, Bidwell, Douglas, Judge (Logan 67), Saville, Grigg (Akpom 67), Trotta (Dallas 87), Donaldson. Subs not used: Lee, Diagouraga, Reeves, Adams.