Rose penalty miss proves thorn in side for Blues
TOWN almost salvaged a point in a gripping finish to their match at Arlesey Town on Sunday.
Brentwood refused to let their heads go down during the match, pressing their opponents back during the closing stages after being inspired by Nikita Whinnett's 67th-minute strike.
Then, in the final minute of the match, Town were presented with an excellent opportunity to draw level when Carla Rose was brought down in the penalty area by Ayo Okunuga.
The referee thought hard before pointing to the spot and Rose dusted herself down to take the spot-kick herself.
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Unfortunately, the skipper's spot kick bounced off the left-hand upright onto keeper Becki Scott's foot, back against the post and onto the custodian's head before Scott eventually clutched the ball gratefully to her chest.
The penalty was the culmin ation of Brentwood's efforts to haul themselves back into the match, despite having trailed 2-0 with 67 minutes on the clock.
That was the moment that Whinnett reduced the arrears, the ex-Arsenal youngster embarking on a purposeful run down the right-hand side and advancing to an acute angle before sending the ball over Scott and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Whinnett could have doubled her own tally - and recorded a fourth personal goal of the season - just a minute later. This time substitute Danielle Butler made good ground down the right flank before setting up the 21-year-old for a thunderous high shot that Scott brilliantly touched onto the crossbar.
Dannielle Robertson was also a threat, smashing a vicious shot at Louise Gash with a little over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, and coming even closer to netting the equaliser seconds later when she met Lucy Faraday's right-wing cross but it was off target.
Town's rip-roaring finish mirrored their bright start to the match, when Rachel Armstrong hooked over on the half-volley from Rose's corner in the sixth minute before almost setting up Robertson at the near post two minutes later, only for Kirsty Cooper to cover and clear the ball out for a corner.
As a result, when Arlesey took the lead in the 16th minute, it was against the run of play.
The goal itself was fortunate for the hosts, although the build-up, with the ball being worked out to Cooper, was more impressive. Having received a pass on the touchline, the midfielder screwed a cross into the penalty area over Prior and the ball nestled in the left-hand corner.
From that point onwards, Arlesey exhibited more belief and their attacking quartet started to become more threatening.
Sophie Pidgeon lined up a 25-yard shot that flew past the right-hand angle of post and bar in the 19th minute and, shortly afterwards, Katerina Hamplova drilled wide from Mandy Cain-Murnane's powerful header. Okunuga also swept off-target after Sarah Tayler and Pidgeon combined on the left-hand side.
For all their possession, the hosts largely failed to extend Prior thanks to the hard work of the Brentwood defence and midfield in front of them.
Brentwood fought back bravely in the second half but fell just short and are now looking to bounce back on Sunday when Enfield Town visit.
Brentwood Town: Prior; Lovell, Allen, Walker (Butler 29), Tuffen; Manning, Whinnett, Armstrong, Robertson; Rose, Faraday.