Brentford 0 Carlisle United 0

Last updated : 27 January 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Neil Shipperley could not quite inspire Brentford to the victory they so desperately needed as he made his debut in a 0-0 draw against Carlisle.

The 32-year-old former Sheffield United, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Chelsea striker boosted the Bees' relegation battle by agreeing a contract before kick-off.

But although his side produced a much-improved performance a single point was not what manager Scott Fitzgerald required.

Shipperley, looking rather overweight after a lengthy lay-off due to injury, at least gave Fitzgerald's side added experience but neither side created a decent clear-cut chance.

Brentford dominated much of the possession in the first half but still saw Carlisle create the best opportunity to take the lead.

The Bees defence fell asleep in the 27th minute when they thought the ball was rolling out for a corner, only for Zigor Aranalde to whip over a cross to the near post.

Karl Hawley, comfortably the most effective striker on show, thought he had scored with a flashing header, but it came back off the woodwork.

A goal at that stage would have been hard on the Bees, who produced a much-improved performance and twice went close through winger Charlie Ide.

Shipperley also had a half-chance from a fine Joe Keith cross but there were few real openings for the home crowd to cheer.

The attendance had been boosted by the signing of Shipperley and by news that Brentford fan Matthew Benham had agreed an interest-free £3m loan over five years to ease the club's problems with debt.

But Carlisle improved after the break, imposing their passing style on the hosts and pressing for a winner.

They once again created the best opportunity, when substitute Joe Garner drilled his effort wide with seven minutes to go.

Bees sub Calum Willock also mis-kicked horribly after turning his man and the match ended all square.