When he signed a new contract following Fulham’s fabulous promotion from the Third Division last season, even a man as prescient as Micky Adams wouldn’t have imagined he would be leading out their local rivals Brentford at Craven Cottage a mere five months later. But the wily manager, sacrificed for the glamour of Kevin Keegan and Ray Wilkins by Mohamed Al-Fayed in September, made his point by guiding the Bees to a gutsy draw at his former employers last night.
Adams is exactly the right man to ensure that Brentford don’t slip into the bottom tier of the football pyramid. His new charges have struggled since losing last season’s play-off final but they already appear more assured since his arrival at Griffin Park. A number of shrewd signings, including former Fulham midfielder Glenn Cockerill who limped off injured after before the half hour, allied with the sort of spirited showing they turned in against Fulham should see them to safety – and Adams would have loved the way he frustrated big-spending Fulham.
Brentford had the temerity to take the lead through one of his new additions. Nigel Glenhorn, drafted in on loan from Burnley, stunned the Cottage ten minutes before half time with a low shot from 20 yards after the home side had failed to clear a corner. The visitors had other chances, too, with Andy Scott – playing against his brother Rob – posing real problems for debutant Chris Coleman.
Fulham did eventually equalise midway through the second half when Paul Peschisolido fired home at the far post after substitute Paul Moody had flicked on Neil Smith’s cross. The home side pushed for an equaliser but Brentford keeper Kevin Dearden kept out efforts from Moody and Scott as Adams’ battlers held firm to earn a deserved share of the spoils.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; McAnespie, Herrera, Cullip (Moody 58), Coleman; Bracewell, Neilson, Smith, Trollope; Peschisolido, R. Scott. Subs (not used): Blake, Carpenter.
GOAL: Peschisolido (66).
BRENTFORD (4-4-2): Dearden; Townley, McGhee, Hutchings, Barrowcliff; Cockerill (M. Bent 28), Gleghorn, Aspinall, Oatway; McPherson, A. Scott (Bryan 75)
GOAL: Gleghorn (35).
REFEREE: Steve Baines.