Brentford 0 Norwich City 0
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City had a man sent off for the second consecutive Championship game but hung on for a 0-0 New Year's Eve draw at Brentford.
Robbie Brady was dismissed in the 80th minute after a sliding challenge with Ryan Woods. Television pictures appeared to support Alex Neil's post-match assertion it was a harsh call on the Dubliner after he caught Woods a fraction of a second after the Brentford midfielder won the ball.
City had to survive a tense finale but should have been well in front with Cameron Jerome wasting a series of chances at Griffin Park.
Neil made five changes to the line up that lost 3-1 at Reading on Boxing Day. Jonny Howson was suspended for his red card at the Madejski, while Graham Dorrans was ruled out with knee ligament damage. The City chief recalled Russell Martin and Timm Klose in a back three, with Youssouf Mulumbu and Alex Pritchard replacing Howson and Dorrans. Cameron Jerome was also deployed alongside Nelson Oliveira in a front two, with Steven Naismith dropping to the bench. Carlton Morris was included amongst the substitutes, but there was no place in the matchday squad for Kyle Lafferty.
Jerome spurned the first real chance in the sixth minute when he miscued a free near post header at Daniel Bentley from Brady's whipped centre.
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John Ruddy had to smother Sullay Kaikai's bouncing effort at the other end in the first real moment of alarm for the visitors.
Jerome was crowded out at the far post by Andreas Bjelland in the 33rd minute as the striker looked to apply a finishing touch to Brady's cross.
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The duo combined again shortly before the interval but Jerome mis-kicked after surging past the last Brentford defender with Bentley to beat.
Oliveira cut inside but sliced a shot wide midway through a drab second period with neither side able to find a genuine cutting edge.
The Portuguese international's cushioned pass set Jerome free down the inside left channel in the 69th minute but Jerome scuffed his latest attempt wide of the far post.
Jerome blazed over in the 73rd minute after Pritchard had picked out the overlapping run of Pinto, who surprisingly made way for Jacob Murphy shortly after.
Murphy was denied by a superb save from the sprawling Bentley after collecting Jerome's back heel seconds after his arrival.
City were reduced to 10 men for the second time in consecutive games when Brady was shown a straight red for a sliding challenge on Ryan Woods. Referee Langford had no hesitation in reaching for the card after the Republic of Ireland international and Woods had both lunged for the ball, but the home midfielder appeared to come off worse. Television replays appeared to show Woods got to the ball first before Brady caught him in the chest.
Captain Martin continued his protest as Brady made the long walk to the tunnel in front of the away supporters.
Pritchard slammed a 20 yard free kick into the home wall as City tried to force the breakthrough. Norwich then had to survive home penalty appeals when Bennett was adjudged to have got a last-ditch touch to deny Scott Hogan inside the Canaries' penalty area.
Steven Naismith was introduced at the start of six additional minutes of stoppage time and triggered a break that ended with fellow substitute Martin Olson hammering a swerving shot parried by Bentley.
• Brentford: Bentley, Colin, Bjelland, Dean, Yennaris, Hogan, McEachran (Sawyers 74), Egan (Hofmann 88), Woods, Kaikai, Field (Barbet 75). Subs (not used): Bonham, Kerschbaumer, Clarke, Vibe.
• Bookings: McEachran (foul on Oliveira, 31); Barbet (foul on Pritchard, 87); Dean (foul on Naismith, 90)
• Norwich: Ruddy, Bennett, Martin, Klose, Pinto (Jacob Murphy 74), Tettey, Mulumbu, Brady, Pritchard (Naismith 90+2), Jerome (Olsson 85), Oliveira. Subs (not used): McGovern, Bassong, Hoolahan, Morris.
• Booking: Tettey (foul on Kaikai, 90)
• Sending Off: Brady (foul on Woods, 80)
• Time added on: 1 minute / 6 minutes
• Referee: Oliver Langford (West Mids)
• Attendance: 9,377 (1,190 away fans)