Bees exit Capital One Cup
Brentford were knocked out of the Capital One cup at the Second Round stage by Derby County.
The Championship side proved too strong for The Bees and the game was effectively over within 38 minutes as the hosts took a 3-0 lead.
Although Brentford were competitive in the early stages, they never really looked like winning the game and a Derby side packed with Championship and Premier League experience just had too much nous and ability.
The home side passed the ball beautifully at times and carved Brentford open.
The Bees handed a debut to Josh Clarke and he posed problems for the hosts on the right wing but Derby had too much quality in the final third and could have had more than the eventual 5-0 score line.
Brentford used Clarke as their main outlet in the first half with Stuart Dallas on the other side of an attacking set-up that featured Farid El Alagui up front and Sam Saunders just in behind.
Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant was forced to save at the feet of El Alagui inside the first 15 seconds after good work by Clarke and a Dallas had a shot blocked after a good run.
Jake Reeves fired narrowly over in the early stages and El Alagui headed a Saunders corner wide.
Derby looked dangerous in attack every time they went forward; Ben Nugent had to block a Conor Sammon shot before the attacker’s presence forced Brentford’s defence in to a clearance that bounced around and away to safety.
Kevin O’Connor blocked a Craig Bryson shot and Chris Martin fired a free kick in to a defensive wall before the home side went ahead just before the 20 minute mark.
Brentford couldn't get the ball away following that free kick and Bryson delivered from the left, Martin got ahead of Bonham to nod in to an empty net.
Brentford tried to respond and Saunders fired a shot over but Derby moved through the gears as half time approached.
Bryson curled a shot against the outside of the post, Richard Keogh flicked a header across the face of goal and O’Connor made an incredible clearance to prevent Sammon’s shot flying in to the far corner.
Scott Barron blocked a Will Hughes shot and Sammon headed a Craig Forsyth delivery across the face of goal.
Derby’s second was probably the moment of the match, a move on the right involving Paul Coutts and Adam Smith created space for Sammon, he played a one-two with Bryson and slipped the ball under Bonham.
It was three seconds later when Smith got clear on the right, his cross went all the way across the penalty area and reached Hughes who fired back in the direction it had come and in to the corner of Bonham’s net.
Brentford again looked for a quick response – El Alagui headed over when well-placed and a Reeves shot was blocked – but there was still time for Sammon to hit the post for the hosts before the half time whistle brought relief for The Bees.
The start of the second half was more even than much of the first and Brentford tried to mount a comeback.
El Alagui and Saunders had shots blocked after good work by Clarke, Saunders had a free kick blocked and Reeves volleyed over when a half cleared free kick dropped to him 12 yards out.
O’Connor blocked a Martin shot at the other end and the striker watched a free kick deflect over and then turned a Smith cross inches wide.
Javi Venta shot wide for The Bees but Derby began to take control as the half wore on.
O’Connor blocked again from Martin and Bonham saved a fierce Bryson effort.
The hosts got their fourth with 20 minutes remaining when Brentford failed to deal with a Smith crossed fizzed in from the right.
There were chances to clear, O’Connor cleared off the line from Hughes and Bonham denied Bryson before Sammon smashed home.
Development Squad players Aaron Pierre and Luke Norris were given a taste of First Team action while Alfie Mawson came on for his professional debut.
But Derby were in no mood to ease off and Martin made it five with a low shot with 13 minutes remaining.
Mason Bennett nearly had a sixth after Brentford failed to deal with a dangerous Ben Davies free kick and Davies shot over soon after.
Norris forced Camp in to a fine low save and a Reeves shot was blocked while at the other end Smith fired across the face of goal.
Brentford never gave up; they chased every ball, worked to create openings and defended their goal manfully.
But Derby were simply too good on the night.
Derby County: Grant; Smith, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth; Coutts, Bryson (sub Davies 72 mins), Eustace; Hughes (sub Jacobs 75 mins); Sammon, Martin (sub Bennett 77 mins)
Subs (not used): Legzdins, Russell, Ward, Freeman
Bookings: Jacobs (76 mins)
Brentford: Bonham; Venta, O’Connor, Nugent, Barron (sub Pierre h/t); Reeves, Diagouraga; Clarke, Saunders (sub Mawson 71 mins), Dallas; El Alagui (sub Norris 61 mins)
Subs (not used): O’Brien, Saville, Adams, Miller-Rodney
Bookings: O’Connor (59 mins)
By Chris Wickham