Donaldson gets only goal as Bees win on the road
Clayton Donaldson scored the only goal of the game as Brentford beat high-flying Swindon Town.
The striker smashed home in the second half to give The Bees a win they deserved.
The home side had plenty of the ball, and had chances, particularly at the end of the first half, but Brentford took the best one of the night and the points.
Brentford’s ploy of starting Donaldson on the right seemed to unsettle Swindon.
They couldn’t get to grips with him early on and he forced a fine save from Wes Foderingham with a long range shot.
Adam Forshaw saw a free kick blocked for The Bees early on too but it was an even first 40 minutes.
The teams were well matched and although Swindon had slightly more of the ball there were few chances of note.
A James Collins header deflected wide and Chris Martin couldn’t convert when a Matt Ritchie cross dropped loose in the box.
The home side ended the half brightly and could have taken the lead before the break.
They started to put balls under Simon Moore’s crossbar and flood the six-yard box while referee Dean Whitestone allowed some very robust challenges to go.
One looping header from Collins was scrambled away and when another cross dropped loose, Martin’s shot was blocked on the line by Harlee Dean – Ritchie fired the loose ball wide.
Moore made a fine save seconds before the interval when Jay McEveley got away down the left and crossed for Collins, the striker fired high to the Brentford goalkeeper’s right and he did very well to keep it out.
The second half followed a similar pattern to most of the first, until Donaldson’s goal.
Jonathan Douglas shot wide for Brentford and Ritchie missed the target with a flicked header before Donaldson broke the deadlock.
Shaleum Logan’s ball forward was expertly flicked by Paul Hayes in to the path of Brentford’s top scorer and he lashed an unerring left foot shot past the helpless Foderingham.
That didn’t actually alter the pattern of the game; it was still largely a midfield battle with few openings.
A Ritchie shot deflected wide and Martin headed over but Swindon were very wasteful with their possession more often than not.
Toumani Diagouraga saw a shot blocked as Brentford pushed for a second goal that would probably make the game safe.
Hayes had a chance to do so when a Jake Bidwell pass set him in behind the Swindon defence but McEveley got across to make a tackle and Harry Forrester couldn’t get on to the loose ball.
Sam Saunders went close soon after with an attempted cross that almost sneaked in to the far post and Brentford had other chances.
Dean was just unable to turn in a Saunders free kick and when Saunders fired a direct effort at goal, it was deflected inches over.
Forshaw’s fierce shot was blocked soon after as Brentford continued to hunt the second goal and Donaldson sliced a shot wide as time ticked down.
Martin should have equalised for Swindon with two minutes remaining when he pulled off Dean to meet a Nathan Thompson cross, but he headed it wide of the far post.
He went close again with a stoppage time header but that was Swindon’s last chance and Brentford took the points back down the M4.
Swindon Town: Foderingham; Thompson, Devera, Ward, McEveley; Ritchie, Hollands, Ferry (sub Bostock 62 mins), Roberts; Martin, Collins (sub Storey 58 mins)
Subs (not used): Bedwell, Archibald-Henville, McCormack, De Vita
Bookings: Ward (83 mins)
Brentford: Moore; Logan, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Diagouraga, Douglas; Donaldson, Forshaw (sub Kiernan 84 mins), Barron (sub Forrester 71 mins); Hayes (sub Saunders 76 mins)
Subs (not used): Lee, Dallas, Oyeleke, German
Bookings: Douglas (28 mins) (fifth of season) (suspended for one match – Sheffield United, November 24), Donaldson (83 mins) (third of season), Forshaw (84 mins) (second of season), Moore (90 mins)
Attendance: 7,431 (548 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham