Second half blitz as Bees beat Crewe
Brentford produced an astonishing second half display as they made it six straight wins in all competitions with a 5-0 demolition of Crewe Alexandra.
Two minutes before the break The Bees were being held 0-0 and it looked as if Crewe may not be heading the way of Colchester United, Bristol City, Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town and Staines Town.
But Marcello Trotta headed in just before the break, Adam Forshaw made it two seconds after the restart and the floodgates opened.
George Saville made it three and Clayton Donaldson added two more for a rampant Brentford.
Crewe were simply not in the game after they fell behind and The Bees continued their winning run.
The visitors matched Brentford up with three men in the centre of midfield, which left little room to play in the opening minutes and meant there were few early chances.
Crewe showed an attacking outlook, more than many teams that visit Griffin Park, but their wide forwards were quick to get back and double up in defence.
Kadeem Harris and Donaldson were unable to get a run on their full backs and Brentford’s early openings came through the promptings of the midfield trio, particularly Jonathan Douglas.
Forshaw fired a free kick in to a defensive wall early on and then hit the re-bound low and hard, forcing Alan Martin in the Crewe goal in to a save.
The best chance of the first half hour came when a Douglas pass nearly released Harris, the ball fell to Trotta ten yards out but he blasted high over the bar.
Saville had a shot blocked after a smart turn and when Trotta got away from Harry Davis, he could only lift his effort over the bar from a tight angle.
Crewe striker Max Clayton flicked a couple of early headers wide but Brentford were making all the running and as the first half reached the midway point, they were pressing the visitors back and forcing mistakes.
Forshaw shot over after exchanging passes with Trotta and Saville arrived late to meet a Jake Bidwell cross only to nod it just wide.
Byron Moore almost created something for Crewe when he cut in off the left and weaved his way towards the penalty area, he beat two defenders but Tony Craig blocked his shot and it deflected over.
Davis had a shot blocked, a Chuks Aneke header was blocked by Harlee Dean and Bradden Inman shot wide.
But they were rare attacks for the visitors; they spent most of the first half defending as Brentford tried to find a way through.
Crewe did, however, defend well, they kept Brentford away from their penalty area for the most part and restricted crosses from the flanks.
When Forshaw did manage to get one in, after a short free kick, ten minutes before the break, Trotta met it with a powerful header and Martin went full stretch to keep it out.
The warning was not, however, heeded, and Trotta put Brentford in front with his head just before half time.
After a shot free kick, Forshaw’s delivery in to the box was half cleared, Trotta – who had been lurking 20 yards from goal – attacked it and headed in to the bottom corner from 15 yards.
The goal, a super effort from the on-loan striker, gave Brentford a lift going in to half time and within 40 seconds of the restart they had doubled their lead.
Alan McCormack threw the ball down the line, Donaldson flicked it on and Trotta fed it in to the path of Forshaw, he breezed Davis and slotted the ball past Martin for his fourth of the campaign.
That was the cue for Brentford to move through the gears and the second half was an exhibition of superb attacking football.
Crewe simply had no answer as Brentford went for it in a thrilling manner.
The visitors’ three man midfield was cut to shreds by incisive attacking football and willing runners.
Brentford should have had a third goal seven minutes in to the second half when Douglas latched on to a Saville back hell and fired in a shot that took a deflection and beat Martin all ends up, it cannoned back off the post to Donaldson but the striker contrived to blast over from eight yards.
Trotta fired in to the side netting after Will Grigg had flicked on a McCormack cross but Saville made no mistake moments later.
Grigg laid a McCormack cross in to the path of the midfield player, he steadied himself and placed a right foot shot from 18 yards out of the reach of Martin and in off the post.
Martin saved a Bidwell free kick and McCormack blasted wide but it was four just past the hour mark.
Grigg worked the ball across the penalty area to Donaldson, the striker he played it to Douglas and darted in to the box to get on to the end of the chip forward, he took the ball past Martin and tapped in.
Aneke shot over and Button saved from Moore but substitute Farid El Alagui came off the bench to set up a goal with his first touch.
He seized on a loose ball and split the defence with a pass; Donaldson raced on to it and fired it low past Martin to make it five.
Crewe should have pulled one back when Moore wriggled free and fired in a cross, it deflected across the face of goal but substitute Liam Noble was unable to tap it in from inches out.
Button then saved a Moore header and denied Clayton after a burst in to the box while Grigg forced a low save from Martin after a run from deep.
Brentford eased off a little as the game wore on, with the points well secured, but they was a touch of class in all they did and when there was a chance to attack, they took it.
They could not, however, add to their five goals.
Brentford: Button; McCormack, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw (sub Reeves 75 mins), Douglas, Saville; Donaldson, Trotta (sub El Alagui 71 mins), Harris (sub Grigg 51 mins)
Subs (not used): O’Brien, Logan, Nugent, Diagouraga
Bookings: Saville (77 mins) (third of season)
Crewe Alexandra: Martin; Mellor, Davis, Dugdale, Guthrie; Grant, Evans (sub Noble 70 mins), Inman (sub Osman 81 mins); Moore, Aneke (sub Oliver 70 mins), Clayton
Subs (not used): Garratt, Ellis, Leitch-Smith, Molyneux
Bookings: Evans (10 mins), Grant (59 mins), Moore (75 mins)
Attendance: 6,616 (247 away fans)
By Chris Wickham