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Brentford held by Huddersfield

Promotion-chasing Brentford were held to a frustrating goalless draw against lowly Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Victory would have seen the ambitious Bees climb above rivals Fulham into third place.

With second-placed Leeds having been beaten at QPR earlier in day, a win would have also cut the gap to just three points to the automatic promotion spots.

But it wasn’t to be as the visitors failed to convert a string of excellent first-half chances and a point was the most they took from their travels.

Leading scorer Karlan Grant had arguably the best chance of the contest for the hosts but he surprisingly blasted over from point-blank range.

However, Brentford were unlucky not to win it late on when Josh Dasilva hit a post with a sweet left-foot strike.

Terriers boss Danny Cowley handed debuts to three new players for the visit of the Londoners.

Former Sheffield United centre-back Richard Stearman started alongside new left-back Harry Toffolo and Arsenal loan forward Emile Smith Rowe.

Defenders Jon Stankovic and Jaden Brown dropped to the bench, as did midfielder Juninhu Bacuna.

Bees coach Thomas Frank made two forced changes to his side with Swedish defender Pontus Jansson and Danish midfielder Mathias Jensen both out injured.

That meant South African midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo and Guinea defender Julian Jeanvier were handed the chance to shine.

Brentford were far more the threatening side in the first half and in the 13th minute Dasilva curled a free-kick well over.

Said Benrahma was gifted far too much time but he drilled a shot straight at Huddersfield keeper Kamil Grabara soon after.

Leading scorer Ollie Watkins saw his powerful left-foot shot charged down by Lewis O’Brien in the box as the visitors continued pressing for the opener.

And O’Brien blocked another Watkins effort when the striker pulled the trigger in the box.

Bryan Mbeumo dragged a shot well wide after a bursting run from the right flank and then turned provider to tee up Benrahma, but his shot was parried and then collected by an alert Grabara.

Benrahma went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock before the break, but his right-foot shot flew just inches over.

The hosts created their first chance of the half a minute before the break, but Chelsea loan midfielder Trevoh Chalobah headed Grant’s corner over.

Chalobah had a left-foot shot deflected for a corner inside a minute of the restart as Huddersfield started brightly.

And they should have taken the lead in the 51st minute, only for Grant to inexplicably fluff his lines.

Debutant Smith Rowe whipped a brilliant ball across the face of goal, Jeanvier bizarrely decided to leave it but Grant somehow blazed over from point-blank range.

Smith Rowe forced a smart low save from Bees keeper David Raya soon after with the Terriers much more alive following the resumption.

And the new signing had a shot deflected wide for a corner as Cowley’s charges intensified the pressure.

But it was Dasilva who went within a whisker of snatching a late win when his curling shot struck the right post.

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