Donaldson double gives Bees win
Clayton Donaldson grabbed two more goals as Brentford picked up their first win of 2013, beating Oldham Athletic 2-0 at Boundary Park.
The npower League One top scorer took his tally for the season to 17, 14 of which have come in the league, with the brace.
He headed The Bees in front early on and then slotted home in the second half to make it safe.
In between, Brentford did not have it all their own way but defensively they were solid and Oldham did not ever look like getting anything from the game, despite their good play.
Oldham started really brightly and probably did not deserve to be behind after the first ten minutes.
Brentford’s goal came five minutes in when Harry Forrester out-muscled Reece Wabara and curled a cross in to the edge of the six-yard box; Donaldson arrived to power a header in to the bottom corner.
The goal came from a Simon Moore clearance after the Brentford goalkeeper held on well to a Matt Smith header following a well-worked free kick.
A Donaldson volley landed on the roof of the net but most of the early action was at the other end.
Smith shot narrowly wide from 20 yards after picking up a Shaleum Logan clearance and Jose Baxter also missed the target from a similar distance.
Cliff Byrne turned a Baxter free kick wide at the near post as Oldham pressed but Brentford started to weather the storm and take a measure of control.
A low Adam Forshaw shot was saved and Donaldson should have put Brentford two up when he met a low corner eight yards out but he headed straight at Dean Bouzanis.
Donaldson had a shot deflected wide soon after and Marcello Trotta was also troubling the home defence, without being able to get a shot away.
Oldham utilised the long ball to forward Smith and Robbie Simpson on the left wing and tried to play in Brentford territory, attempting to get Baxter in to the game.
They should have levelled before half time when Carl Winchester burst forward and exchanged passes with Baxter but then shot wide from 15 yards.
Smith also headed wide late in the half and Baxter missed the target with a chip as Brentford went in ahead.
Oldham started the second half frantically, snapping in to challenges and not letting Brentford settle.
They had the upper hand without really creating anything to unduly worry The Bees.
Moore saved a curling Baxter shot when the attacker cut inside but many balls forward came to nothing.
And Brentford, as in the first half, started to take control – helped by the introduction of Toumani Diagouraga.
Forshaw had three attempts at goal as The Bees pressed forward, the first, a free kick, flew wide while Bouzanis held the second, from 35 yards.
The third came after good work by Logan and Trotta and Forshaw lashed over from the edge of the penalty area.
Trotta should have wrapped the game up with 18 minutes remaining – a Jake Bidwell free kick was half cleared and dropped to him ten yards out, with only Bouzanis to beat he lashed over the bar.
The game became stretched as Oldham chased an equaliser – Baxter’s curling effort was well saved by Moore and substitute Kirk Millar shot wide.
And that left the space for Brentford to seal the game.
The Bees won the ball in midfield and Sam Saunders found Donaldson in acres of space 12 yards out, the League One top scorer slotted calmly past Bouzanis for his second of the afternoon.
Oldham made some changes as they tried to find a way back in to the game but Brentford were largely comfortable.
Taylor stung the palms of Moore in stoppage time after Logan was robbed and a Baxter shot deflected wide but Brentford deserved their clean sheet, and their win.
Oldham Athletic: Bouzanis; Wabara, Byrne (sub Millar 77 mins), M’voto, Grounds; Croft, M’Changama, Winchester (sub Hughes 84 mins), Simpson (sub Taylor 72 mins); Baxter; Smith
Subs (not used): Cisak, Brown, Tarkowski, Mellor
Bookings: Baxter (57 mins)
Brentford: Moore; Logan, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Kiernan (sub Diagouraga 59 mins); Donaldson, Douglas, Forshaw, Forrester (sub Barron 75 mins); Trotta (sub Saunders 80 mins)
Sub (not used): Gounet, Hodson, Reeves, Hayes
Bookings: Donaldson (66 mins) (fourth of season), Diagouraga (69 mins) (fourth of season), Forrester (75 mins) (fifth of season), Forshaw (90 mins) (third of season)
Attendance: 4,615 (208 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham