Brentford wasted the chance to gain ground on second-placed Watford in the Sky Bet Championship promotion race with a 0-0 stalemate against Millwall.
With the Hornets losing at local rivals Luton it was set up for the Bees to turn the screw, but they failed to muster a single shot on goal.
And it might have been even worse for the hosts if Danny McNamara’s low cross had been met by a Millwall striker at the death.
The visitors were the first to threaten five minutes in, McNamara on the overlap with a cross deep to the far post that Scott Malone could not keep down on the volley.
It was a cat and mouse affair for much of the opening quarter with the visitors working hard to ask questions of the Bees’ new-look back three and finding space down the right flank.
But Brentford almost caught them on the break after 20 minutes, Marcus Forss bursting onto a through ball only to see his low cross deflected just behind the incoming Ivan Toney.
At the other end a whipped cross dropped into the path of Malone but keeper David Raya spread himself to avert the danger with a block.
The Lions were lucky to escape a strong penalty shout when Forss was hauled over by Jake Cooper at a corner, but referee Darren Bond waved away the protests.
Brentford midfielder Vitaly Janelt fired well over on the stretch after a Toney drive was blocked on the half-hour mark in an opening 45 minutes of few clear-cut chances.
Minutes after the restart Forss raced his way down the right and powered his way past the attentions of Malone only to fire a rising drive into the side netting.
Christian Norgaard’s shot from 35 yards as the Millwall defence dropped off was always sailing over, and spoke volumes for the lack of invention and defensive superiority in both final thirds.
Brentford dominated possession but failed to test keeper Bartosz Bialkowski until the 82nd minute when he had to dive bravely at the feet of Toney to prevent a certain goal after a clever Forss flick.
Brentford pressed for the opener, but top scorer Toney was forced to drop deeper into an already congested midfield to find the ball as Millwall defended resolutely.
Cooper and Jed Wallace were the standout performers for the visitors, whose organisation and high press frustrated the west Londoners.
The Bees, with three at the back, always looked the more likely to break the deadlock but the final ball was never quite there in a game fought out mainly in the middle third.
And the visitors might have snatched all three points deep into injury time when McNamara cut in from the right and fizzed a low cross across the face of goal.
The draw means Brentford stay fourth with a game in hand over third-placed Swansea and second-placed Watford, who they face in the run-in.
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