Christian Eriksen played his first minutes in a Brentford shirt this afternoon, coming through an hour of a 3-2 behind-closed-doors victory over Southend United.

A cold, damp afternoon in West London was lit up by Eriksen’s return to a match environment for the first time since suffering a cardiac arrest last June.

The Danish international looked busy in the heart of midfield and grabbed himself an assist, setting up Josh Dasilva for the first of his treble on the afternoon. There was a further positive for Josh as he got through a full 90 minutes for the first time since injury.

Eriksen, who celebrates his 30th birthday today, could have found himself on the scoresheet in the opening minutes but was twice denied by the visitors’ stopper Collin Andeng Ndi. It was a busy opening for the United keeper who also denied Dasilva, Mads Bech, Tristan Crama before The Shrimpers took the lead against the run of play. A loose ball was picked up on the edge of the box by James Dunne and fired past Jonas Lössl from close range.

Andeng Ndi preserved the away side's advantage with another fine save from Frank Onyeka before Dasilva finally found a way through in the closing moments of the half. Eriksen got on the ball just inside the Southend half and threaded a ball through for Dasilva to dink home from the edge of the box.

Parity didn’t last long with Southend re-taking the lead right at the start of the second-half, Lewis Gard finishing off a slick move down the left. The side 12th in the National League side could easily have extended their lead but half-time substitute Álvaro Fernández got down smartly to palm a well-struck effort behind. From the resulting corner, United struck the post with the rebound bouncing into Fernández’s grateful arms.

That misfortune proved costly as Saman Ghoddos and Dasilva combined at pace with the latter sliding home a low finish from close range.

Eriksen was withdrawn on the hour, as was Tariqe Fosu on his own return to action. The winning goal came shortly after as Dasilva dropped his shoulder and whipped a stunning finish into the far-top corner from 25 yards.

Ghoddos could have extended the advantage in the closing stages but saw a trio of well struck shots fizz narrowly off target. As it was three goals proved enough on an afternoon that was about so much more.

Brentford: Lössl (Fernández 46 mins); Roerslev (Hockenhull 60 mins), Bech, Crama (Gilbert 80 mins); Stevens, Baptiste, Eriksen (Gordon 60 mins), Onyeka, Fosu (Young-Coombes 60 mins); Dasilva, Ghoddos