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Summary

  1. Amorebieta scores late winner for Boro
  2. Jelle Vossen header put Boro ahead
  3. Andre Gray levelled after Konstantopoulos error
  4. Second leg on 15 May

Live Reporting

By Phil Harlow

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    FT: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough

    So there we have it. On a day of drama across the country, the first Championship play-off match of the end-of-season campaign didn't disappoint as an injury-time winner from Fernando Amorebieta offered another unexpected turn at the end of a match which Brentford had dominated.

    Let's do it all again next week.

  2. Next up...

    Ipswich Town v Norwich City (Sat, 12:15 BST)

    Wes Hoolahan

    Two local rivals take centre stage tomorrow lunchtime as Ipswich host Norwich in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final.

    Norwich finished third in the table, collecting eight more points at the end of the regular season than sixth-placed Ipswich.

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra will have live coverage from Portman Road, and you can also follow the East Anglian derby via our live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

  3. Post update

    Got your breath back yet? There's something else coming our way tomorrow that you might want to keep an eye on.

  4. Post update

    FT: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Mark Warburton

    Brentford boss Mark Warburton tells Sky Sports:

    "It was a better second half and we did enough to think we can go there and put on a show.

    "Middlesbrough stifled us a bit in the first half and the second half was too open if I'm honest, but we recognise we'll create chances up there.

    "We must defend better from corners, but we created chances and our job now is to go there and win the game - simple as that. We're absolutely still in the game - it's 2-1 at half-time."

  5. Post update

    FT: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    More from Boro boss Aitor Karanka:

    "Having the advantage is very, very important. Brentford are a very good team, and they had chances especially at set pieces. We'll have to work at the same intensity as today but we need to keep the ball more.

    "It's an amazing win and the lads deserve it.

    "Football is sometimes a risk. Two weeks ago we sent Dimi Konstantopoulos up for a corner and conceded a goal. Today we sent Fernando up and it worked. It's very good for him, he's an experienced player and he's settled in with the lads vey well."

  6. Post update

    FT: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka tells Sky Sports:

    "This match was as intense as I could have imagined. This league is amazing and from my first day here, it's what everyone told me.

    "It was a typical Championship game and I'm learning every second in this country."

  7. Post update

    FT: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    A classic away performance from Aitor Karanka's Middlesbrough side. His players soaked up plenty of pressure from a Brentford side which enjoyed 62% of the ball and took two chances.

    What chance do you give Brentford in the return leg?

  8. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    FT: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Baz Saikia: Brentford have to take the game to Middlesbrough in the second leg by controlling the midfield and isolating Bamford.

    Pete Thompson: Secretly following the football during a romantic dinner on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Playoffs are awesome - for a neutral!

    Yes, they're awesome for neutrals. Not so much for supporters if your team are involved. But more of the same to come over the next couple of weeks hopefully!

  9. Post update

    FT: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough captain Grant Leadbitter tells Sky Sports:

    "Brentford are a really good side but we've got the advantage now. We know it's going to be tough and we have to come out the blocks as quickly as today when we start the second leg.

    "It was a good game and Brentford were very good in possession, but Fernando produced a great strike and we'll take the win.

    "We know it's going to be tight. We'll be full of confidence but we know we have to be wary because Brentford are a good team."

  10. Post update

    FT: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Middlesbrough will be delighted, but don't write Brentford off. They didn't deserve that. They battled back and were the better team in the second half.

    "But this is what Middlesbrough have done all season. They're very solid and counter-attacked. They'd have settled for 1-1 but Amorebieta struck his goal like a centre-forward."

  11. FULL-TIME

    Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough

    That's it - the final whistle goes and Middlesbrough will take a one-goal advantage to the second leg next Friday.

  12. CLOSE!

    Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Tommy Smith is inches away from equalising at the other end for Brentford as the ball across the box is just nipped away from him by man of the moment Fernando Amorebieta.

  13. Post update

    Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "The left-back - I said 'why have they brought him on?!' And then he scores the goal that will probably give Boro the win in this leg."

  14. GOAL

    Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough (Fernando Amorebieta)

    Fernando Amorebieta

    With time running out, Adam Forshaw wins a corner for Middlesbrough. The ball breaks to substitute Fernando Amorebieta in space just by the penalty spot and he produces a finish worthy of (Liverpool era) Fernando Torres, swivelling around to hit it on the volley and into the bottom corner.

  15. SUBSTITUTION

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Championship player of the year Patrick Bamford comes off for Middlesbrough, to be replaced by Kike.

    Six added minutes...

  16. SUBSTITUTION

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Both sides are tiring after an intense evening. Brentford's Alan Judge fires the ball downfield but it's more of a rugby touch finder than a long ball, and it goes straight out. It's his last action as he makes way for experienced striker Tommy Smith.

  17. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Forshaw used to play for this club and he's fired right up. He was a little late, but referee Jonathan Moss has had a good game and settled things back down.

    "It's electric in here and Brentford's turnaround has been amazing. You get that goal, you get confidence. Look at the difference it's made to Middlesbrough - they're on the back foot now.

    "This is the play-offs for you - it's fantastic."

  18. YELLOW CARD

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough take off goalscorer Jelle Vossen, with former Brentford man Adam Forshaw coming on. Fair to say he doesn't get the warmest of welcomes.

    Soon after and Forshaw throws himself into an unwise tackle on Toumani Diagouraga, earning a yellow card for his troubles - Boro's sixth of the evening. There are a few words between the respective benches on the sidelines but it simmers down.

  19. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough are restricting themselves to playing on the break and without committing many men forward. Brentford give away the ball on halfway and George Friend bursts forward for Boro, but with few other options his wild shot is well wide of the target.

  20. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Maybe everybody will be fed up of it, but I'm waxing lyrical about Brentford and Stuart Dallas has had a great season. He pops up with goals left, right and centre, and what a great substitute to have coming on now."

  21. SUBSTITUTION

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Brentford make a change, bringing Stuart Dallas on for midfielder Jota. What can Dallas offer as Brentford push for a winner?

  22. YELLOW CARD

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    New arrival Fernando Amorebieta concedes a free-kick for a clear foul on Alex Pritchard just outside the box, getting a yellow card in the process just moments after coming on for Boro. You suspect that wasn't what was whispered in his ear just before coming on...

  23. SUBSTITUTION

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Grant Leadbitter has the chance to curl in a free-kick from out on the left but his effort is to close to Brentford goalkeeper David Button, who collects into his midriff.

    Shortly after and we have our first change as Lee Tomlin, who has been on a yellow card since early in the first half, is replaced by Fernando Amorebieta for Boro.

  24. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    John Dykes: When you miss a sitter, you put your everything into making up for it! Great tenacity from Gray to earn the equaliser.

    Daniel Woodley: Once again the Championship doesn't disappoint! Can't take my eyes off this game.

    Keep your views coming in using #bbcfootball on Twitter.

  25. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Jota

    Brentford are getting Spanish midfielder Jota on the ball more and more and he is making things tick in the middle. Boro's intensity has dropped from the stellar level of the first half and Brentford are enjoying the extra split-second on the ball.

  26. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos has to re-tie his bootlaces, taking off his gloves to do so. He is very meticulous about the whole thing. Brentford fans urge him to get a bit of a move on...

  27. GREAT SAVE!

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Another magnificent save in a match that has been full of them, with Dimi Konstantopoulos arcing his back to get a hand to a looping, back-where-it-came-from header from Brentford's Jonathan Douglas. This is some match.

  28. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Whatever happened to the cagey, safety-first play-off football we might have expected?

    This is end-to-end with both teams going for the win, tackles flying in and chances coming for both sides. Has anyone told them they've got another chance next week?

  29. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "What a save from Button. He flicked it over the defender and volleyed with his left foot. I thought it was in for a second, but what a save.

    "It's so finely balanced now. This is anybody's game."

  30. GREAT SAVE!

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    That is one of the saves of the season! Brentford's David Button produces an amazing piece of athleticism, leaping into the air and just getting a palm to a fierce Albert Adomah effort which had been destined for the top corner. Boro must have thought they were about to go back ahead there.

  31. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Griffin Park is absolutely jumping now. A fine Harlee Dean tackle in the box - with zero margin for error - wins Middlesbrough a corner but the resulting header is straight at David Button.

  32. Post update

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    Andre Gray

    "The ball's played over the top, Gray's chased a lost cause and he was so alert to roll it into an empty net.

    "That's a calamity out of nothing, but it's exactly what the game needed. The centre-half should have dealt with it. He could have cleared it out, and if that had been the case, it would be a throw-in now.

    "It's buzzing here at Brentford."

  33. GOAL

    Brentford 1-1 Middlesbrough (Andre Gray)

    Andre Gray

    We criticised him a moment ago, but it's brilliant work from Andre Gray as he capitalises on a Dimi Konstantopoulos error to equalise.

    An optimistic ball over the top should have been belted into the stands by the Boro keeper but he dithers slightly and allows Gray to nip the ball off his toes just outside the box before turning 180 degrees and rolling the ball into the net from an angle.

  34. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "What a chance. Odubajo put a great low cross in, in between the two centre-backs, and Andre Gray has been banging those in all season. It's a terrible miss for the boy. Brentford really needed that."

  35. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Horrible miss from Brentford striker Andre Gray, who just hasn't got going tonight. The ball breaks to him inside the six-yard box after Jota flicks it on and with just the keeper to beat he fires over on the half volley. Will Brentford get a better chance to equalise?

  36. YELLOW CARD

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Patrick Bamford

    Middlesbrough's on-loan striker Patrick Bamford shows a touch of Premier League class as he brings the ball down and pushes it past James Tarkowski, who clatters into him to earn a yellow card seconds after the restart.

    Industrial, agricultural, a reducer: take your pick of euphemisms for that challenge...

  37. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Rob Stevens

    BBC Sport at Griffin Park

    Aitor Karanka and Mark Warburton

    "Brentford were subdued after Jelle Vossen gave Boro the lead midway through the first half. Bees striker Andre Gray has hardly been in the game but Alan Judge has been a bright spark for the home side.

    "Mark Warburton will want more artistry from his playmaker in the second half. Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka may be sweating later on as four of his players are on yellow cards - a sending-off would be costly."

  38. KICK-OFF

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    The managers have made their stroll across the pitch to the dug-outs, the players are ready and Middlesbrough get the second half under way. No changes for either side at the break.

  39. Post update

    HT: Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "The next goal is absolutely vital. If Middlesbrough can get it, it will make it almost impossible for the mindset of Brentford to get over the fact that they've already been beaten twice by them."

    Live commentary continues on BBC Radio 5 live via the Live Coverage tab.

  40. Post update

    HT: Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Jelle Vossen

    So Jelle Vossen's header is the difference at half-time. Can Brentford pull it back after the break?

  41. Next up...

    Ipswich Town v Norwich City (Sat, 12:15 BST)

    Jay Tabb and Jonathan Howson

    Derbies can be pretty tasty at the best of times. Throw in the carrot of a play-off final at Wembley for the winner, and it gets positively scrumptious.

    East Anglia will probably come to a standstill tomorrow lunchtime as Ipswich host Norwich in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final at Portman Road.

    Norwich have been revitalised since manager Alex Neil's arrival in January and completed a league double over their neighbours during the regular season.

    Never count out Ipswich, though, and especially their boss Mick McCarthy, who has twice won promotion from the Championship as a manager.

    Read BBC Sport's match preview here.

  42. Post update

    This is the first of the weekend's Championship play-off games but there's also a decent match that means quite a bit to the teams involved coming up...

  43. Post update

    HT: Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is in the Griffin Park stands and you might argue this Middlesbrough performance is right out of the Mourinho handbook - they've worked harder than a party activist on election night in defence and have made the most of possession (which has been just 36% of the time), firing in six shots and forcing seven corners.

  44. Post update

    HT: Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    Jelle Vossen

    "Middlesbrough are definitely worth the lead at the moment. It was a sloppy start but you can see their game plan. They're very well structured. Now, because they're in front, it's down to Brentford to break them down and we haven't seen many signs of that.

    "I think Brentford aren't used to this sort of stage and the enormity of what's possible. The marking for the goal was outrageous. I haven't seen Brentford do that and it's the last thing Mark Warburton would have wanted."

  45. HALF-TIME

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    The whistle goes with Middlesbrough ending the half on the attack and Jelle Vossen firing a decent effort over after some nice link-up play from Patrick Bamford.

  46. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Brentford defender Harlee Dean tries to play long under Boro's relentless pressure and puts the ball straight out of play. The Bees need to find some composure on the ball if they are to get back into this.

  47. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Brentford's James Tarkowski goes very close with a wonderfully directed header, which just creeps over the bar. It's Brentford's turn to enjoy a spell on top - so far this has been everything you expect of a play-off game.

  48. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Ryan Buckley: I would love if Brentford came back to win this! Hope they do. Would love to see them in the Premier League.

    Baz Saikia: Middlesborough the Chelsea equivalent? Sit back, play on the counter attack. Surely Mourinho hands Bamford a place next season?

    Tom Holmes: I'm a huge fan of this Brentford side's mettle, but honestly, only one of these two sides has what it takes to survive the PL.

    Can Brentford find a way back into this one? Let us know using #bbcfootball on Twitter.

  49. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Middlesbrough are walking a tightrope with these yellow cards. That was a crazy challenge from Whitehead."

  50. YELLOW CARD

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Albert Adomah and Dean Whitehead become the third and fourth Middlesbrough players to receive a booking, both for clumsy fouls on Brentford midfielder Alan Judge, who has certainly come in for some treatment, as they say.

  51. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Brentford are starting to go a bit longer in an effort to bypass Boro's pressing game, but Andre Gray's struggles to hold the ball up are seeing the ball come back time and time again. The Bees desperately need him to find his first touch if they are to get a foothold.

  52. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "You've got to get away from the occasion and get on with the game. I fully expected Brentford to carry on. They've had such a magnificent season and thoroughly deserve to get in the play-offs. Let's see if they can cope with them."

  53. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Andre Gray

    Middlesbrough's pressing game has gone up a level since the goal, with Brentford's players not given a moment's rest on the ball. The intensity is high - can Brentford weather the storm?

  54. CLOSE!

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    David Button save

    Two excellent stops from goalkeeper David Button in quick succession keep Brentford in the game but they are living dangerously at the back. The first sees him make a sharp save at the near post after Lee Tomlin cuts inside and fires a daisycutter in on goal.

    The second is even better as he somehow claws Vossen's scuffed effort back out from on the goal line. Replays suggest it was the right decision not to award the goal but it was a matter of millimetres.

  55. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Brentford go straight on the attack and win a free-kick on the left-hand side of the Boro box. Alan Judge lines up an effort but it's always going over the bar. From the distance and angle, it would have needed to be a Beckham-esque effort to really trouble the keeper.

  56. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    OptaJoe: Middlesbrough have won all six previous games in which Jelle Vossen has scored this season. Charm.

  57. Post update

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "A great ball in from Adam Clayton. Nothing fancy, he just put it in an area. Vossen was all on his own - it's terrible marking.

    "It's done us a favour in this game because Brentford have got to come out and be positive."

  58. GOAL

    Brentford 0-1 Middlesbrough (Jelle Vossen)

    Jelle Vossen

    What a header from Jelle Vossen - but how was he allowed so much space in the Brentford box? Adam Clayton curls in a cross which is just asking to be nodded in and Vossen takes advantage of some very loose marking to oblige.

  59. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Rob Stevens

    BBC Sport at Griffin Park

    "Brentford have grown into this game after a scrappy start. Middlesbrough, also known for their passing style, have been loose in possession.

    "Brentford fans are making sure referee Jonathan Moss hears about every foul on their players."

  60. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Brentford have started to dominate possession in the last 10 minutes, but when Andre Gray concedes the ball on halfway Middlesbrough launch a rapid counterattack. Albert Adomah should be away in space on the right, but he goes too early and is rightly flagged offside.

    A warning for Brentford, who are playing a high line in defence.

  61. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "What a fantastic save. He had to be every inch of his six feet five to keep that out, and I think it hit the post afterwards.

    "The two teams are cancelling each other out at the moment. Both are playing 4-2-3-1. Two very good teams, though."

  62. HITS THE WOODWORK

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Brentford's Alan Judge lets fly with a superb effort from just outside the box which is arrowing towards the top corner, only for the fingertips of Dimi Konstantopoulos to push the ball onto the post. Great strike, great save - football was the winner there...

  63. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Ian Holloway

    Ex-Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Friend's got to be careful now. That was a bit silly. Jota was going nowhere."

  64. YELLOW CARD

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Jonathan Douglas plays a long free-kick over the top of the Middlesbrough defence and Andre Gray gets in between the two centre-backs and gets a touch which sends the ball goalwards from a narrow angle, forcing Dimi Konstantopoulos into a save.

    Shortly after and it's another Middlesbrough yellow card as George Friend goes right through Moses Odubajo. I'm no tactical genius but you suspect Brentford will be pushing it out to the right at every opportunity now.

  65. YELLOW CARD

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    The first yellow card of the evening comes out with Lee Tomlin's persistent hounding of Brentford midfielder Jota eventually penalised. You suspect it won't be the first of a fiercely competitive evening...

  66. Listen live on BBC Radio 5 live

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Brentford fans

    BBC Radio 5 live's commentary from Griffin Park has just begun - click on the Live Coverage tab to listen on desktop, tablet or mobile devices.

    An excellent atmosphere and an entertaining start, but no goals as yet.

  67. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is gracing Griffin Park with his presence.

    Is he a) supporting his former Real Madid colleague and now Boro boss Aitor Karanka, b) checking out the form of on-loan striker Patrick Bamford, or c) a Brentford fan on the quiet?

  68. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    There's definitely a touch of nerves in Brentford's play. The Bees work a promising situation out wide on the right but a constipated exchange of passes on the touchline involving Jota and Toumani Diagouraga sees the move break down.

  69. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough have the first corner of the match but it comes to very little. Brentford have struggled to hold on to the ball so far, which is unlike their usual possession-based approach.

    A dangerous run from Boro's Lee Tomlin yields a second corner, which they play short and again any danger is snuffed out by Brentford.

  70. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Alex Pritchard, Brentford's player of the season, has a very optimistic effort with a free-kick from 35 yards out. With just one man in the wall he gets it on target but it bounces once before Dimi Konstantopoulos collects with a fair degree of ease.

  71. Post update

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough winger Albert Adomah makes the first attacking foray of the match, driving down the right-hand side before being dispossessed. The ball eventually makes it's way into the Brentford area but it's a comfortable take for goalkeeper David Button.

  72. KICK-OFF

    Brentford 0-0 Middlesbrough

    Brentford v Middlesbrough huddle

    Both teams go into a pre-match huddle and then it's time.

    The whistle blows and Brentford put boot to ball. We're off.

  73. Here we go...

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    The players are out on the pitch, the banners are flying, the handshakes are under way.

    Where's your money going?

  74. Five-minute warning

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    The atmosphere is electric at Griffin Park, as we get ever nearer to kick-off.

    The old ground - with a pub on each corner, as every football fan knows - has seldom seen a bigger day.

  75. Brentford form watch

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Andre Gray

    Brentford have been one of the stories of English football this season, refusing to slump down the table after their impressive start to life in the Championship under Mark Warburton.

    The Bees, who have relied heavily on the goals of striker Andre Gray, won their final two matches of the regular season to edge into fifth place ahead of Ipswich, Wolves and Derby.

  76. Post update

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Mark Warburton
  77. Will Brentford's play-off luck change?

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Rob Stevens

    BBC Sport at Griffin Park

    Brentford

    "Former Brentford chairman Martin Lange was instrumental in the introduction of the Football League play-offs in 1986-87, but the play-offs have not been kind to the Bees.

    "They have failed in each of their seven previous attempts to gain promotion through the end-of-season showpiece - including three defeats in play-off finals.

    "However, this is Brentford's first shot at the play-offs in the second tier and Mark Warburton's side are looking to reach the top flight for the first time since 1947. Could this be the year their luck changes?

    "Warburton is set to leave Griffin Park at the end of the season and, with question marks over the suitability of Griffin Park for Premier League football and a new stadium in the pipeline, tonight could be Brentford's last game at the ground, which has been their home since 1904."

  78. Listen live on BBC Radio 5 live

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Ian Holloway

    There's live commentary of tonight's Championship play-off semi-final first leg between Brentford and Middlesbrough on BBC Radio 5 live from 20:00 BST - they will be joining the action at Griffin Park slightly late, as first they are mopping up their coverage of the general election.

    Simon Brotherton and Ian Holloway, who managed Blackpool to Championship play-off final victory in 2010, are your commentary team.

    It's available on desktop, tablets and mobile devices via the BBC Sport app - click on the Live Coverage tab to listen online.

  79. Post update

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Dimi Konstantopoulos

    And let's not forget the two clean sheets kept by his understudy Tomas Mejias. Boro have the meanest defence in the second tier.

  80. Middlesbrough form watch

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Patrick Bamford

    Middlesbrough have been one of the most consistent teams in the Championship this season, continually occupying one of the top-six slots since early October.

    On-loan Patrick Bamford - the Championship's Player of the Year - has struck 17 league goals, while their defensive unit, with keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos in fine form, keeping 21 clean sheets, which is the most in the division.

  81. Post update

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Andre Gray

    Two strikers have dominated much of the build-up to tonight's game...

  82. Boro's Spanish expedition

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Rob Stevens

    BBC Sport at Griffin Park

    "Middlesbrough narrowly missed out on automatic promotion but Aitor Karanka has prepared his squad for this tie with a training camp in Spain.

    "Boro have had two play-off campaigns in the second tier, beating Chelsea over two legs to win promotion in 1988 but losing at the semi-final stage in 1991.

    "The visitors, who have not played in the Premier League since 2009, won both meetings between the two sides this season."

  83. Post update

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Alan Judge
  84. Last night in League One...

    Preston and Swindon secure first-leg leads

    Sam Ricketts

    Brentford and Middlesbrough want to get out of the Championship - what about the teams that are desperate to get into it?

    The League One play-offs began last night, and both Preston North End and Swindon Town are strong favourites to reach Wembley after winning the away legs of their respective semi-final ties.

    Preston won 1-0 at Chesterfield with an early goal from Jermaine Beckford, while Swindon came from 1-0 down and recovered from a first-half penalty miss to win 2-1 at Bramall Lane.

  85. Final farewell

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Bees boss Mark Warburton will be leaving the club at the end of the season

    For Brentford boss Mark Warburton, tonight will be his final match in charge at Griffin Park, with the club announcing in February that he will leave at the end of the season.

    "The board have made a decision and we recognise that," Warburton, who could take the Bees to the top flight for the first time since 1947, told BBC London 94.9. "It is a frustration but the overriding emotion for me - the same as the players - is to relish the opportunity.

    "The table doesn't lie after 46 matches but now we're in this position we're not here to make up the numbers. We have to maximise this opportunity and see how far we can go."

  86. Middlesbrough in Marbella

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Aitor Karanka

    The end-of-season holiday to Marbella may seem a bit more Sunday league social than Championship, but Middlesbrough's players have enjoyed a spell in the Spanish sunshine ahead of tonight's game.

    Boss Aitor Karanka took his squad to Marbella for a training camp and, by the sounds of things, we're definitely talking professional preparation, not pub crawl pandemonium.

    "Every single exercise was to prepare us to win and every exercise was thinking about Brentford and their style," Karanka told the Teesside Gazette.

  87. We've got it covered

    Football League play-offs on the BBC

    BBC Sport

    Two games down, 13 games to go in this season's Football League play-offs.

    BBC Sport will be providing a live text commentary of every single play-off game - whether it's in the Championship, League One or League Two - including all three finals at Wembley on 23-25 May.

  88. Long time coming...

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Brentford battle to a 2-1 FA Cup win over Boro in 1964

    One league place separated the two sides at the end of the Championship campaign, but Boro were eight points clear of fifth-placed Brentford after beating the Bees twice this season.

    In fact, you have to go back to January 1964 for Brentford's last victory over Middlesbrough - a 2-1 win in the FA Cup - and to December 1938 for their last league win over the Teessiders.

    To be fair to Brentford, the teams have only met five times since the '60s...

  89. Get involved

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    How do you see these Championship play-offs going, then? Which team will claim that precious Premier League place at Wembley on 25 May?

    We asked for your thoughts on Sportsday earlier - here's a flavour of what some of you had to say...

    Giannina Caraceni: I can see Ipswich nabbing that PL spot. They've got Freddie Sears, and Norwich have recent PL wounds unhealed.

    Gavin Vargas: Brentford. Pub on each corner of their ground and makes a joke of Warburton going.

    Philip Taylor: I hope Boro come up. Would be great to see the three north east teams in the Premier League.

    Matthew Hillary: Norwich v Middlesbrough final. Hopefully with Norwich returning to top flight. Hard derby to come, but been strong for last half of season.

    Any more for any more? Get in touch via the BBC Sport Facebook page or by using #bbcfootball on Twitter.

  90. Bamford starts for Boro

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Patrick Bamford

    There were a few worries over Patrick Bamford's fitness, but the Championship's Player of the Year starts up front for visitors Middlesbrough.

    As for the home side, Brentford name an unchanged team from the one that beat Wigan on the final day of the campaign to secure a play-off place.

  91. BreakingTeam news

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    Brentford: Button, Odubajo, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell, Diagouraga, Douglas (c), Jota, Pritchard, Judge, Gray.

    Subs: Macleod, Craig, McCormack, Dallas, Bonham, Toral, Smith.

    Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Whitehead, Gibson, Ayala, Friend, Leadbitter (c), Clayton, Adomah, Tomlin, Vossen, Bamford.

    Subs: Ripley, Forshaw, Amorebieta, Nsue, Omeruo, Reach, Kike.

  92. Play-off palaver

    Brentford v Middlesbrough (19:45 BST)

    General Election billboard

    Friday 8 May, 2015.

    For many, it's been a day of confounded expectations, frayed nerves, unbearable tension, raw emotion, shock results and new beginnings. And now for some more of the same...