Bees make JPT progress
Sam Saunders scored the only goal of the evening as Brentford booked a place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Section Quarter Final with their second win over Crawley Town in three days.
The Bees beat the Sussex side 2-1 on Saturday and Crawley left with nothing again thanks to Saunders’ goal.
Brentford were well worth the win, they could have been a couple up within the first 15 minutes and Paul Jones in Crawley’s goal was the busier keeper.
But the home side didn’t have it all their own way and had to defend well to ensure progress.
Brentford took Crawley apart in the first 25 minutes of the league game between the teams and started like they would do the same.
Crawley goalkeeper Paul Jones made a superb save to keep out a Harlee Dean header and Harry Forrester curled a free kick over soon after.
Tom Adeyemi had a fierce shot blocked after good work by Paul Hayes and the striker had a volley saved soon after.
Clayton Donaldson should have opened the scoring 11 minutes in when Hayes set him away with only Paul Jones to beat but the goalkeeper got down to turn away the low shot.
It took Crawley 15 minutes to find their feet and even when they got in to the game; their main openings came through Brentford errors.
When Kevin O’Connor and Leon Legge failed to clear, Sergio Torres pulled a shot wide and Richard Lee denied Billy Clarke after he capitalised on poor control by Dean.
The visitors thought they had won a penalty when Jonathan Forte went down under the challenge of Legge but referee Iain Williamson’s dramatic signal was for a goal kick and not a spot kick.
Lee saved at the feet of Torres moments later while Hayes lashed over at the other end and Mike Jones did likewise for the visitors.
There was no shortage of half chances as the game continued but few really good openings.
A Donaldson header was saved and Legge scrambled away a cross by Nathan Byrne before Clarke lashed well wide.
Tony Craig saw a header saved just before the break while Mark Connolly shot wide for Crawley just after.
The best chance of the first 15 minutes of the second half fell to Adeyemi; he picked up a Hayes lay off and beat two met before firing in a shot that was destined for the bottom corner before Paul Jones got down superbly to turn it wide.
Clarke missed the target for Crawley before an O’Connor cross landed on the roof of the net with Paul Jones scrambling back.
Both teams went looking for the goal that would probably win the game and Scott Barron almost delivered it with a shot from a Donaldson cross that clipped the outside of a post.
Mike Jones shot wide for the visitors and Connolly lashed over before substitute Antonio German saw a header deflect wide and Legge powered one over the bar when the corner came in from Saunders.
Crawley went close when a Forte effort smacked against a post when a corner was half cleared but it was Brentford who struck the crucial goal with 17 minutes remaining.
Barron made it with a superb burst through and a low ball across the box, it eluded German but Saunders arrived to tuck it past Paul Jones and in to the net.
Crawley started to throw men forward and substitutes on in an attempt to salvage something.
Clarke fires a free kick in to the wall and Joe Walsh volleyed over from close range.
Substitute Hope Akpan had a pair of shots blocked and a headed effort from Gary Alexander was also cleared by the increasingly busy Brentford defence before Byrne smashed a shot well over.
German could have wrapped it up for Brentford when he picked up a poor back pass but he shot wide with only Paul Jones to beat.
Hayes had a shot blocked soon after and forced Paul Jones to save at his feet but at the other end Walsh should have ensured a penalty shoot-out with a header from eight yards but could only direct it straight at Lee.
The visitors came even closer at the death, Lee palmed away an Akpan shot but the ball was not cleared and Connolly lashed in a shot that beat the Brentford goalkeeper only for Craig to clear off the line.
Brentford: Lee; O’Connor, Legge, Dean, Craig; Forrester (sub Saunders h/t), Adeyemi, Diagouraga, Barron (sub Dallas 74 mins); Hayes, Donaldson (sub German 58 mins)
Subs (not used): Fredericks, Reeves
Bookings: Forrester (6 mins)
Crawley Town: P. Jones; Hunt, Walsh, McFadzean, Byrne; M. Jones, Connolly, Bulman, Torres; Forte (sub Alexander 74 mins), Clarke
Subs (not used): Kuipers, Sadler, Akpan, Ajose
Attendance: 2,739 (203 away fans)
By Chris Wickham