First half goals give Bees win
A pair of superb first half goals from Clayton Donaldson and Harry Forrester gave Brentford a win against promotion-favourites Sheffield United.
The Bees battered their big name visitors in the first half and could have been further clear at the break.
And when the visitors found their stride after half time, Brentford were resolute in defence, albeit they were indebted to Simon Moore for some fine saves.
Overall, The Bees were value for the 2-0 score line that completes a fine week with seven points from away games against Preston North End and Swindon Town and the visit of The Blades.
Brentford scored with their first sight of goal, and lit up a grey day at Griffin Park.
Rob Kiernan picked a pass and released Toumani Diagouraga in the inside left channel, the marauding central midfield player found Donaldson with his cross and the Brentford top scorer converted from close range.
That was just the start for The Bees; they played some superb football and could have been out of sight by the half hour mark.
A Diagouraga shot was deflected into the arms of United goalkeeper George Long before Tony Craig headed wide.
Marcello Trotta burst in to the box and forced a save out of Long soon after before the United goalkeeper tipped away a powerful Forrester drive.
From the resulting corner, Donaldson headed wide from eight yards.
The Blades started the day second in npower League One, having lost just one league game all season, and had plenty of quality in their ranks.
They almost equalised when Ryan Flynn headed a Tony McMahon cross back in to the danger area and Shaun Miller met it with a powerful header, but Moore somehow palmed it away.
Moore saved a Chris Porter header soon after but Brentford had the upper hand.
Some of the football being played by The Bees was spectacular and United were shell-shocked.
Trotta and Adam Forshaw had shots blocked and they both went close again soon after – Forshaw with a shot that was deflected wide off Donaldson and Trotta with a flicked header from a Jake Bidwell cross that Long gathered.
Brentford’s play deserved a two-goal lead and they got it on 30 minute mark.
Craig found Forrester with a pass and the little trickster turned away from trouble, taking two men out, he cut inside and released a rasping shot with minimal back lift that beat Long all ends up and nestled in the bottom corner.
Harry Maguire should have pulled one back for the visitors when he headed wide from close range but United could not say the 2-0 half time score line was unjust.
Forshaw came close to a third before the break with a shot that whistled wide after nice interplay on the edge of the penalty area.
The Blades knew they needed a goal back early in the second half and were on the front foot in the early stages after the re-start.
Maguire shot wide from distance and Moore produce another wonderful save from Miller, when the striker got past Craig and shot from ten yards after nice interplay on the edge of the penalty area.
Brentford could have made it safe with a toe-poked Trotta effort after good work by Forshaw but Long saved and United continued to press.
A Nick Blackman shot was blocked before Porter shot wide.
Blackman almost scored a wonder goal when he weaved his way past four defenders from the half way line but Moore was equal to his shot and preserved the two-goal cushion.
The game had definitely swung United’s way and Moore had to be alert to save a Miller volley when Flynn curled in a free kick.
Moore was in the action again, going full length to keep out a Maguire header, but time was starting to run out for the visitors.
Sam Saunders had a shot blocked as Brentford were after the third goal that would definitely seal it and Long kept out a Paul Hayes shot.
Trotta did have the ball in the net with ten minutes remaining when Long could only palm out a Harlee Dean shot but the offside flag was up and the goal ruled out.
United threw everything at Brentford at the death but The Bees held firm.
Bidwell made a superb tackle when Miller got in behind and Matt Hill had a shot blocked.
Miller’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by his former Crewe Alexandra colleague Donaldson and Maguire’s follow-up was saved miraculously by Moore.
When the next corner came in, Kevin McDonald’s shot was deflected wide.
Saunders had a late shot blocked but The Bees were home and dry on a sodden Griffin Park afternoon.
Brentford: Moore; Logan, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw, Kiernan (sub Hayes 67 mins), Diagouraga; Donaldson, Trotta (sub Hodson 81 mins), Forrester (sub Saunders 59 mins)
Subs (not used): Lee, Barron, Oyeleke, Dallas
Bookings: Logan (64 mins) (second of season), Saunders (90 mins) (third of season)
Sheffield United: Long; McMahon (sub Westlake 61 mins), Maguire, Collins, Hill; Blackman, Doyle, McDonald, Flynn; Porter (sub Cresswell 65 mins), Miller
Subs (not used): Coyne, McAllister, Cofie, McFadzean, Williams
Bookings: Maguire (83 mins), Collins (88 mins), McDonald (89 mins)
Attendance: 7,763 (1,802 away fans)
By Chris Wickham