Your Brentford v Ipswich Town match report powered by Utilita
Neal Maupay was Brentford’s match-winner for the second time in five days as The Bees beat Ipswich Town at Griffin Park. The French striker converted a penalty won by substitute Sergi Canós to score the only goal of the game inside the final 20 minutes. That enabled The Bees to add Ipswich to the scalp of Bristol City they took on Monday as they extended their unbeaten run to four Sky Bet Championship fixtures.
It is a game that is unlikely to live long in the memory. The teams were evenly matched and Ipswich set out to frustrate Brentford on a mild spring afternoon at Griffin Park. They largely succeeded at their task but Canós won a spot kick that Maupay put away and Brentford had the points.
Ipswich started the game with a narrow, quite defensive, outlook. They played three central defenders and another as part of a holding midfield pair with two full backs on the flanks. The visitors did, however, try to take a high position to stop Brentford playing out from defence and in to midfield and that meant there was not a lot to report in the first ten minutes. The game was condensed in central areas with neither team able to play through the lines.
The flow of the game wasn’t helped by a horrible looking collision between Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Białkowski and his centre half Luke Chambers when it looked as if Ollie Watkins might beat both of them to a teasing Henrik Dalsgaard through ball. The defender came off worse and after lengthy treatment he left the pitch holding his collarbone and was replaced by Myles Kenlock.
That slightly halted momentum that Brentford had started to build. They almost went ahead when a move that involved Alan Judge and Watkins led to Yoann Barbet lashing in a shot from 20 yards that Maupay diverted towards the bottom corner. It looked as if Białkowski was wrong-footed but he somehow stuck out a leg to make the save. The resulting corner was played short and Judge curled a shot over the bar.
The Bees were starting to dictate the pace and tempo of the game. Josh McEachran was able to move the ball at pace and Romaine Sawyers was starting to find room to play in. Watkins and Judge were swapping flanks and testing the Ipswich defence and The Bees were dominating possession and territory. Barbet had a header blocked and then a cross-cum-shot well dealt with by Białkowski. The French defender then played a clever quick free-kick that allowed Sawyers to run in to a gap in the Ipswich defence but he pulled a left foot shot wide of the post.
The visitors had settled in to counter-attacking mode. They were happy to sit in with a five-man defence at times but tried to break quickly when they could. Callum Connolly curled an effort over from the edge of the box and had Ipswich’s best chance of the first half when he headed straight at Daniel Bentley just before the interval. The same man also had the ball in the net late in the half but that was ruled out for handball. A spell of pressure also led to a chance for Kenlock but he lashed over from the left side of the penalty area.
Brentford held the upper hand going in to the interval and Białkowski was forced in to action to keep his side level. He made a low save from a dipping Judge shot and Maupay was then crowded out as he tried to capitalise on the loose ball. Białkowski then denied Watkins before a Maupay shot on the turn was blocked as Brentford went in to break with the initiative, but not the lead.
Unfortunately, they could not build on that in the early stages of the second half. The second period started as the first had. The game was being played in a congested central area of the pitch with Ipswich building a solid defensive line. Brentford played a lot of football in front of the visitors but were unable to stretch them and create any chances.
The introduction of Canós and Nico Yennaris midway through the half livened the game up. The Bees had a little more pace in attack and, with time ticking down, there was increased urgency. Chances started to come and within five minutes of coming on, Canós had won the penalty that proved to be the game’s decisive moment.
Watkins had seen a shot deflect over and Maupay then had a header blocked while Ipswich almost profited on the counter attack when Martyn Waghorn got away in the inside right channel and in to the penalty area but he shot straight at Bentley. Within two minutes, Brentford had their match-winning penalty.
It seemed as if a ball forward from Barbet would prove to be innocuous but Canós got up a head of steam and Jonas Knudsen put a hand on Brentford’s attacker to stop him getting to the ball. Referee Robert Jones decided that a foul had been committed and pointed to the penalty spot. Maupay took the responsibility and sent Białkowski the wrong way to give Brentford a lead they did not relinquish.
There was a chance the goal would spark the game in to life with Ipswich chasing the game but that wasn’t the case. Ipswich had a slightly more attacking outlook, they changed their shape to go more attacking and made substitutions to press for a goal but Brentford also continued to attack. Despite both teams looking for goals, there were still few chances.
Canós could not make the most of two crossing opportunities after Sawyers had won the ball back in a dangerous position. The Spaniard also had a shot deflected wide late on and collected a booking during a lively cameo. Brentford were forced to defend for periods at the death but Bentley was only called in to action once, making a fine stop with his legs when Grant Ward met a Bersant Celina cross. Chris Mepham then made a brave block from a Waghorn effort and that was enough to preserve Brentford’s clean sheet and get them the points.
Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Egan, Mepham, Barbet; McEachran (sub Emiliano 73 mins); Watkins (sub Canós 66 mins), Sawyers, Mokotjo (sub Yennaris 66 mins), Judge; Maupay
Subs (not used): Daniels, Macleod, Bjelland, Clarke
Bookings: McEachran (52 mins) (fourth of season), Canós (90 mins) (fifth of season)
Ipswich Town: Białkowski; Carter-Vickers, Chambers (sub Kenlock 24 mins (sub Celina 75 mins)), Webster; Spence, Hyam, Connolly, Knudsen; Nydam (sub Ward 73 mins); Sears, Waghorn
Subs (not used): Crowe, Gleeson, Carayol, Folami
Bookings: Carter-Vickers (17 mins), Connolly (52 mins), Knudsen (72 mins)
Attendance: 10,939 (1,644 away fans)