Two goals in ten second half minutes from Ivan Toney earned Brentford a Sky Bet Championship win over Coventry City. The Bees had the better of the first half but were unable to break through before the break. But Toney converted from close range just after the restart and then headed in a second soon after to ensure The Bees got the win.
There was little doubt it was the right result. While Coventry had their moments in attack, especially at the end of both halves, The Bees were by far the better team. They dominated the first 75 minutes almost exclusively and could probably have sealed a more comfortable win. They never looked like relinquishing the lead after Toney’s double strike and took a second win of the season.
Brentford started the game at a frightening pace. They were on the front foot from the first whistle, drove forward at speed and with bodies joining in the attack. They picked holes in Coventry’s defensive and midfield lines and created a series of decent chances as they pushed for the opening goal.
Toney forced Marko Maroši into a save with a snap shot inside the first 30 seconds and Henrik Dalsgaard saw an effort deflect wide before the resulting corner dropped to Sergi Canós but his attempt flew off target. There looked to be another shooting chance for Canós soon after, but Toney took over and set up Rico Henry for a cross-cum-shot that was cleared inside the six-yard box. Toney met the resulting corner but saw his header deflect away, possibly off Dalsgaard, and the next corner dropped to Josh Dasilva, but he sliced his shot.
Brentford had complete control of the midfield area. Mathias Jensen had Dasilva and Marcondes either side of him and the trio picked their passes, found space to roam and drove The Bees on. Henry and Dalsgaard supported from full back and chances continued to come. Unfortunately for Brentford, they were not taken.
Marcondes headed a Canós cross narrowly over after Toney had won an important flick on and Bryan Mbeumo looked to be running free and in on goal before Kyle McFadzean got back to make an important tackle. Canós set up that chance for Mbeumo after good work by Jensen, who started the game well, and he then freed Marcondes for a shooting chance from 20 yards, but the effort was blocked. A deflected Mbeumo cross almost created a goal as Toney was able to get a toe to it and tried to flick it past Maroši, but the goalkeeper spread himself to block.
Maroši made a decent save when Toney intercepted a clearance and let fly from 25 yards and then a better one soon after. Ethan Pinnock met the resulting corner, Pontus Jansson swivelled on it and although his connection wasn’t as firm as it might have been, Maroši still had to be alert to get down and save. The follow-up from Jansson was blocked and Dasilva pulled a shot wide after finding space in Coventry territory.
The visitors would have considered themselves fortunate to get to the half hour mark level. They had been unable to work their way up the pitch, pushed back by Brentford’s work off the ball and high starting positions. The game was halted for a period late in the first half, with Henry receiving treatment, and that seemed to affect Brentford’s momentum. The midfield trio were unable to get on the ball as much late in the first period and Coventry had chances.
David Raya was forced in to a good save when Coventry worked the ball down the right and Ben Sheaf cut inside before shooting from a narrow angle. A free kick from the left from Ryan Giles then reached Michael Rose at the far post but he dragged a shot wide when well-placed. It would have been unfair on Brentford if Coventry had gone in ahead, but the visitors would have been pleased with the way they ended the first period. It was not, however, so good for them at the start of the second.
The Bees started the second half as quickly as they started the first, but this time, got the goals to go with it. They had the lead within a minute of the restart as they finished off a flowing move. Dasilva created the space and Marcondes found Mbeumo on the right as Giles slipped, he cut inside and shaped to shoot but his effort turned in to a cross that was perfect for Toney to score from close range.
The second for Brentford, and for Toney, came nine minutes later. An initial attack broke down, but Henry intercepted as Coventry tried to clear. The ball was worked to Marcondes on the left and he stood up a cross for Toney to head in from six yards. Toney found space between Coventry’s trio of central defenders and his header burst through the arms of Maroši to double Brentford’s lead.
It could have been even better for Toney and Brentford as he was just unable to reach a Henry cross after good work by the impressive Marcondes. Canós also had a shot blocked after another incursion from Brentford on the left but The Bees were halted in their flow by some enforced substitutions. Toney and Marcondes both limped off for the home side and Coventry used the changes to try and push on.
The visitors had been forced back at the start of the second half and one corner, where Raya saved a header from Rose that lacked power, was all they could muster while Brentford went two up. But Matt Godden had two good chances in quick succession as they tried to force the game. Raya was crowded out at a corner and failed to get distance on a punch, Godden swivelled and shot but his effort hit the crossbar and bounced down the right side of the line, as gat as Brentford were concerned, before the ball bounced clear. Raya then saved as Godden met a cross from the left with a sweeping shot.
Marcus Forss was brought in attack and Vitaly Janelt was given a Brentford debut in midfield and both got in to the game quickly. Janelt showcased a range of passing and one ball to Henry on a left enabled The Bees to win a corner that Jensen delivered, and Pinnock headed wide. Maroši also saved well from Dasilva after he drove in to the penalty area on the right.
Coventry could have got one back with five minutes remaining when Giles, who delivered well from the left all afternoon, picked out a cross, Godden got to it, but Raya made himself big and prevented the ball going past him. There were further late chances for the visitors – Sheaf lifted a curling effort over the bar and then had an effort saved before Raya denied Godden. Coventry may have deserved a goal for their efforts, but Brentford deserved the win and took the points.
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Marcondes (sub Janelt 69 mins), Jensen, Dasilva (sub Ghoddos 78 mins); Mbeumo, Toney (sub Forss 64 mins), Canós
Subs (not used): Daniels, Sørensen, Thompson, Fosu
Bookings: Jensen (43 mins)
Coventry City: Maroši; Rose, McFadzean, Hyam; Pask (sub McCallum 60 mins), Sheaf, O’Hare, Giles; Allen; Bakayoko (sub Shipley 60 mins), Godden
Subs (not used): Wilson, Østigård, Kelly, Biamou, Kastaneer
Bookings: Sheaf (81 mins)