Your Burton Albion v Brentford match report powered by Utilita
Ollie Watkins scored one and made one as Brentford picked up a win against Burton Albion. The Brentford attacker saw a cross turned in to his own net by Kyle McFadzean to put The Bees in front just before the hour mark. It was a lead The Bees had to work hard for but one they merited on the balance of play. And Watkins sealed a 2-0 win with the second goal ten minutes from the end.
It was a hard-fought win for The Bees but one they deserved. On a poor pitch, with one flank almost unpassable, Brentford played all the football. They defended when they had to but spent most of the evening on the front foot and went looking for the three points. With two second half goals, that is what they got.
Both teams tried to get forward in the opening exchanges and there were chances at either end in the first ten minutes. Brentford went closest with John Egan flicking a Watkins free kick just out of the reach of both Henrik Dalsgaard and Andreas Bjelland and inches past the post. At the other end, Ryan Woods turned a Damien McCrory cross just wide of his own goal after a good move on the left. And when the resulting corner came in, Lucas Akins saw a shot blocked.
Burton tried to match up with The Bees in terms of formations. They played with a lone striker and three central midfield players but with their wide players unable to get up the pitch, front man Liam Boyce was isolated. While they tried to play through midfield, they struggled against Brentford’s energetic approach and were often forced to play long balls. By the midway point of the first half, The Bees had control, even if they did not have the lead.
They looked as if they had found a way through when Florian Jozefzoon seemed to have robbed Tom Naylor on the edge of the Burton box, the Brentford man looked like he was impeded after winning the ball but referee Tony Hartington said no offence had been committed. Kamohelo Mokotjo met a deep Watkins cross and lifted it back across goal but wide of the far post before a Dalsgaard shot was blocked. There was then a great chance for Bjelland but he turned a Jozefzoon corner wide at the far post.
Jozefzoon should have done better when he weaved his way in to the box on the right but he pulled a shot wide and he had another golden chance soon after. Ryan Woods played a free kick deep, Dalsgaard knocked it back and Neal Maupay set up Jozefzoon but he blazed over. Watkins had a shot blocked late in the half after cutting inside and then couldn’t find a way through as The Bees tried to work the second phase of play.
That moved summed up Brentford’s first half. They played predominantly on the front foot and almost exclusively in Burton’s half but couldn’t find a way through. The final ball wasn’t quite up to scratch, chances came and went and a terrible playing surface – which didn’t run true from the first touch – meant Brentford’s one touch play often failed to find its mark. The hosts almost snatched the lead late in the half on the break when Lloyd Dyer got away on the left and to the by-line, away from Dalsgaard, his cross was met by Martin Samuelson but he volleyed over.
There was also a controversial end to the half when the few home fans in attendance, forgetting the lifeline Mr Hartington had given Naylor, beseeched the officials to dismiss Maupay. The Brentford striker had got himself booked for dissent and then had the misfortune to be in the vicinity when Burton’s lumbering defenders threw themselves to the floor. Mr Hartington decided no cautionable offence had been committed – a consistent first half theme – and Maupay stayed on until the break, when he was replaced by Emiliano Marcondes Camargo Hansen.
The control Brentford had at the end of the first half didn’t extend to the start of the second. Emiliano didn’t occupy the same positions as Maupay and with Burton content to sit a little deeper, the game took a while to get going after the break. Brentford dominated possession but in less threatening areas and there were no chances of note. But when the first opening came, The Bees had the lead.
It came from a free kick won by a run down the right by Jozefzoon. Tom Flanagan hacked him down, received a yellow card and moments later his team were behind. It looked as if the kick had been wasted when it flew deep across the penalty area but Sawyers played it back and Watkins, who delivered the first ball, drilled it across and McFadzean turned it in to his own net. The Burton defender had little option as he had to get a touch and all he could do was put it in.
Buoyed by the goal, Brentford went through the gears and from then on, there only looked like one winner. It was almost two moments later when, after fine interplay with Watkins, a Sawyers cross just eluded Emiliano. Emiliano then almost got on to a Sawyers pass but McFadzean, who failed to intercept first time, got back to make the tackle. That almost turned in to a Burton equaliser as the ball was smashed long and Boyce got away from Egan and Bjelland but blasted in to the side netting.
There had been another half opening for the hosts earlier when Dyer got away on the left but Bjelland showed McFadzean how it was done as he managed to clear his crossbar with a close-range clearance. And Egan almost scored an own goal when he got a touch to a Marvin Sordell cross, it diverted the ball away from Daniel Bentley but past the post.
Those chances were as close to Burton came and Bentley did not actually make a save all night. Sergi Canós could have doubled the lead when he got on to an Emiliano lay off but the shot was blocked. The second goal did, however, come moments later. The Bees played a free kick quickly and Canós and Sawyers combined to feed Nico Yennaris, he found Watkins and the attacker cut inside two men before rolling a shot in to the corner. Burton goalkeeper Stephen Bywater was motionless, leading to thoughts the shot may have taken a deflection but the shot was expertly placed and Brentford had breathing space.
From then on, it was just a matter of how many Brentford would score. Canós wriggled free and delivered a cross that Watkins nodded past Bywater but also just past the post. Bywater then kept out, unconvincingly, a swerving Canós shot before rushing out to beat Watkins to a through ball after he had evaded a clumsy hack from the labouring McFadzean.
Even in the dying seconds Bywater was forced to save low to his right from a fine Watkins shot. The resulting corner was delivered by Canós and Egan flicked it just past the post. That meant Brentford had to settle for two but that was enough for the three points.
Burton Albion: Bywatrer; Akins, Naylor, McFadzean, McCrory (sub Flanagan 41 mins); Davenport; Samuelson (sub Sordell 53 mins), Murphy, Allen, Dyer; Boyce (sub Bent 82 mins)
Subs (not used): Campbell, Varney, Buxton, Sbarra
Bookings: Flanagan (59 mins)
Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Egan, Bjelland, Clarke; Woods; Jozefzoon (sub Canós 72 mins), Sawyers, Mokotjo (sub Yennaris 78 mins), Watkins; Maupay (sub Emiliano h/t)
Subs (not used): Daniels, Mepham, Macleod, McEachran
Bookings; Maupay (33 mins) (eighth of season)