A goal in each half as Bees win away
Brentford picked up their first away win for nearly two months as goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Marcello Trotta gave them a 2-0 win against Crewe Alexandra.
The Bees travelled to Cheshire to take on the team which won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy just three days before having taken one point from their last four away games and not won since a February 28 trip to Crawley Town.
They started superbly; they won almost every second ball in the first 25 minutes and completely dominated midfield.
With Tom Adeyemi striding through the centre of the field like a colossus, Crewe were simply swept aside in the first quarter.
Brentford should probably have been out of sight by half time but the Wright-Phillips goal, which was a superb example of the attacking play of the visitors, was all they had to their credit.
The game was more even after the break but Brentford never really looked like relinquishing their lead.
And substitute Trotta made the game safe with a fine goal less than 60 seconds after coming off the bench.
The first goal came in the 12th minute, and came from a Crewe attacking position.
Bradden Inman wasted possession and Jonathan Douglas picked the ball up, his first touch ball was played on, again first time, by Adam Forshaw, Clayton Donaldson flicked it through his legs to meet the run of Shaleum Logan, the full back delivered his cross on the run first time to the near post where Wright-Phillips met it and powered a header in to the bottom corner.
The goal was certainly coming as Brentford took control from the first minute.
A Donaldson header deflected over in the first minute before Harlee Dean had a header blocked and Crewe goalkeeper Steve Phillips saved from Sam Saunders.
Adeyemi had a shot blocked; as did Wright-Phillips minutes later and Dean sliced a shot over the bar before the goal.
Brentford continued to dominate after it and Adeyemi almost added a second when he raced on to a Donaldson through ball, Phillips saved at his feet and had to be withdrawn soon after due to the effects of the collision.
Forshaw shot over before Saunders, who delivered the cross for that chance, curled a free kick in to a defensive wall and an Adeyemi shot deflected over.
Crewe were forced to bring on goalkeeper Alan Martin and Brentford came within a whisker of making him pick the ball out of the net within seconds of his arrival.
Saunders delivered a corner and Dean rose highest, as he did often, to power a header that beat Martin but cannoned away off the crossbar, Donaldson missed the target with an overhead as the ball dropped loose.
Logan screwed a shot wide after bursting forward and exchanging passes with Donaldson and another Adeyemi shot was deflected over.
Crewe started to get a foothold in the game as the half hour mark approached and Simon Moore was called in to action for the first time, tipping away a Matt Tootle shot.
There was a slight lull after that Crewe chance as the home side had a bit of possession but Brentford took command again as half time approached.
Wright-Phillips had a shot blocked and then blasted straight at Martin after swivelling on to a Donaldson knock down.
The chances continued to come in first half stoppage time – Forshaw saw a shot blocked and fired one wide before Douglas shot wide after nice interplay on the edge of the penalty area.
Donaldson missed a great chance when Douglas dummied a Wright-Phillips pass in to his path ten yards out but the striker failed to control and the chance was lost.
Donaldson went close early in the second half when he raced away from Mark Ellis and fired in a shot that Martin tipped wide.
The second period was, in general, more even than the first.
The pitch had cut up further and the bounce of the ball was more erratic, which meant mistakes were more frequent.
There were fewer chances in the first 20 minutes but Crewe had their share of them.
Moore saved from Max Clayton after good work from Byron Moore and then kept out a Harry Davies header.
Donaldson headed just over at the other end and Saunders shot over from distance before a Dean shot was gathered by Martin.
Toumani Diagouraga was introduced to sit at the base of the Brentford midfield and that gave them more control.
Crewe were pushing more men forward but Brentford were able to hit them on the break, without making their chances count.
Wright-Phillips was unable to profit when a long throw dropped in the box and Donaldson headed over when well placed.
Substitute Lee Hodson almost scored with his first touch when he beat Martin to a Donaldson pass but Crewe defenders got back to clear.
Diagouraga had a shot blocked, Douglas smashed over from a good position and Adeyemi failed to turn the ball in from a Hodson cross.
The killer goal came in the 83rd minute when Douglas lifted the ball over Abdul Osman and then chipped it in to the penalty area, Trotta met it with a scissor volley and lashed it past Martin and in to the net.
Dean headed wide as Brentford tried to add a third and Trotta shot wide.
Crewe had a little fight left – Logan made a vital clearance when Tootle burst in to the box and Kevin Stewart shot over – but Brentford were resolute.
They kept their sheet clean and took the points which lifted them up to third in npower League One.
Crewe Alexandra: Phillips (sub Martin 22 mins); Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Stewart; Moore, Osman, Murphy (sub Turton 61 mins), Inman (sub Colclough 69 mins); Leitch-Smith, Clayton
Subs (not used): Ray, West, Aneke, Ellington
Bookings: Osman (34 mins)
Brentford: Moore; Logan, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw (sub Hodson 77 mins), Adeyemi, Douglas, Saunders (sub Diagouraga 72 mins); Donaldson, Wright-Phillips (sub Trotta 82 mins)
Subs (not used): Gounet, O’Connor, Reeves, El Alagui
Bookings: Adeyemi (53 mins) (second of season)
Attendance: 4,594 (422 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham