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Brentford 1-1 Charlton Athletic

BrentfordBrentford
Charlton AthleticCharlton Athletic
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1
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Brentford's return to the second tier after 21 years ended with a deserved 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw at home to London rivals Charlton.

Substitute Tommy Smith marked his debut with a deflected near-post finish with five minutes remaining after Igor Vetokele had given the visitors the lead just after the hour mark.

Vetokele struck with a close-range header from Johnnie Jackson's right-wing corner as the Bees defence were caught napping.

Brentford had the better of a cagey first half and should have taken the lead just before the break, but Jonathan Douglas failed to connect with Stuart Dallas' cross.

Tottenham loan signing Alex Pritchard also went close for the home team, curling a shot just past the far post after seven minutes.

Charlton goalkeeper Stephen Henderson tipped Alan Judge's 25-yard drive wide from under the angle as the Bees continued to press.

The Addicks were looking to attack on the break, and the tactic almost paid off midway through the opening half when George Tucudean beat the offside trap only to be thwarted by the out-rushing David Button.

Jackson should have done better but scooped his shot wide from the edge of the box and the first half ended in stalemate.

Vetokele served notice of what was to come early in the second half when he twice went close for the visitors.

First he forced a superb save from Button with a dipping drive and he then saw his header tipped onto the post a minute later.

The Belgian-Angolan forward did break the deadlock in the 64th minute when he diverted Jackson's corner past Button.

Brentford were guilty of poor finishing with Douglas and captain Tony Craig both wasting gilt-edged chances, the latter volleying over from close range when completely unmarked.

Charlton substitute Callum Harriott hit the bar midway through the second period after a mistake from Button.

Judge was soon left cursing the woodwork at the other end after being denied from a neatly struck free-kick.

But the hosts did get on the scoresheet five minutes from time, Smith finding an inch inside the six-yard box to smash home with a little help from Addicks defender Tal Ben Haim.

ends

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