Bees make FA Cup progress
Brentford booked their place in the FA Cup with Budweiser Second Round with a comfortable win over non-league neighbours Staines Town.
The Skrill South side were simply no match for a Brentford side that moved through the gears as the afternoon progressed.
They were in the game until they conceded a needless penalty that Alan McCormack converted but further goals from Jake Reeves and Kadeem Harris ended the game as a contest before half time.
Marcello Trotta scored a fourth just after the break and it looked as if the non-league side could be on the end of a real hiding.
But they managed to restrict Brentford and in the end The Bees had to settle for a 5-0 win as Clayton Donaldson scored late on.
While they nominally set up in a 4-4-2 system, it became apparent early on that Staines would overload defensively.
Striker Bajram Pashaj regularly dropped off, leaving Louie Theophanous up front on his own and helping the visitors get ten men behind the ball.
Brentford were presented with a yellow wall to try and find a way through, over or around.
The game was almost entirely played in Brentford’s attacking half and The Bees probed in the early stages for the opening goal.
Trotta missed the target with an acrobatic long range effort in the first minute and Reeves blasted high and wide after a nice move involving George Saville and Trotta.
Harris robbed Jerel Ifil and exchanged passes with Trotta before pulling a shot across the face of goal and a low McCormack cross just eluded Trotta on its path across the face of goal soon after.
Donaldson had an early opening when, following patient build-up, he exchanged passes with Jonathan Douglas and found himself in space inside the penalty area, but his low shot was saved by Kyle Merson.
Brentford had complete control by the time 20 minutes had elapsed and Staines were overworked at the back, but they had shown signs they could frustrate the Sky Bet League One side.
However, their captain inexplicably and bizarrely handed, quite literally, Brentford the lead.
Harris delivered a corner from the left and Lewis Ferrell, a former Brentford Youth Team player, punched the ball clear.
Given he is a central defender; referee Steve Rushton had no choice but to award a penalty.
McCormack took the ball and blasted his first Brentford goal low to Merson’s right.
Staines had occasionally shown signs of getting bodies forward on the break before the opening goal and midfield player Troy Ferguson forced David Button in to a save from a free kick soon after.
But they were, in truth, never in the game.
The Bees may have eased off slightly for five minutes after taking the lead but they soon regained their momentum and started to open the visitors up.
Donaldson headed wide after great work on the left by Trotta while Harris, who was starting to torment right back Sanchez Ming, cut inside and had an effort saved.
Merson, by now Staines’ busiest player, got down well to save from Trotta but he was helpless to prevent Brentford scoring again soon after.
Douglas took a quick free kick and freed Harris, he fed it inside to Reeves, the midfield player exchanged passes with Trotta and slipped his first goal in professional football under Merson.
It was a fine goal but it was eclipsed within seconds.
Harris turned free in midfield and raced away, he let fly from 30 yards and the ball whistled in to the top corner past the helpless Merson.
Harris almost made it four before half time with a curling free kick that Merson got down well to save.
And the wide man was at it again at the start of the second half, leading a break from a Staines corner and setting up Reeves, but this time the midfield player pushed his shot wide.
The Bees continued after half time as they had ended the first period, attacking and looking to score goals.
Saville had a shot blocked before Reeves’ effort and Trotta got his name on the score sheet soon after.
McCormack delivered an early cross from the right and Trotta looped a header over Merson and in to the net.
Brentford did not let up and all Staines could do was try to keep the score down.
Merson saved a powerful Donaldson header after Jake Bidwell had exchanged passes with Harris and Toumani Diagouraga was unable to turn home when Will Grigg flicked on a Reeves corner.
Merson then saved a curling Saville shot while, on a rare attack, Max Worsfold blasted over from distance for Staines.
Saville then failed to head home a delightful Donaldson cross before firing a low shot straight at Merson from 20 yards with Grigg well-placed for a pass.
Brentford’s level probably dropped a little in the later stages, with the game well won.
While they still had complete control, they were less incisive in attack and created fewer openings.
And Staines could have pulled one back with an acrobatic effort from Jordaan Brown, but it bounced wide.
Saville shot over and then his deflected cross narrowly eluded Jake Reeves.
The visitors had another chance when Ming ran from deep but his shot was saved by Button.
Farid El Alagui turned a Grigg cross wide as the minutes ticked down and the striker then pulled a shot wide after a run from deep.
Staines came close to a consolation in the dying seconds but an Erivaldo Felix shot was blocked and Button gathered the loose ball.
The non-league side might have just about warranted something for their efforts, but Brentford deserved to progress.
And The Bees got their fifth in stoppage time when Reeves delivered a corner, Grigg’s header was blocked and Donaldson converted as the ball bobbled around.
There was still time for Diagouraga to fire wide before Mr Rushton brought the game to a close and gave The Bees passage in to the Second Round.
Brentford: Button; McCormack, Craig, Nugent, Bidwell; Reeves, Douglas (sub Diagouraga h/t), Saville; Donaldson, Trotta (sub Grigg 52 mins), Harris (sub El Alagui 73 mins)
Subs (not used): O’Brien, Logan, Saunders, Fillo
Staines Town: Merson; Ming, Ferrell, Ifil, Brown; Lodge, Ngamvoulou (sub Taylor 67 mins), Ferguson (sub Beadle h/t), Worsfold; Pashaj (sub Felix 76 mins), Theophanous
Subs (not used): Turner, Akinsanya, Neville, Akokhia,
Attendance: 5,263 (940 away fans)
By Chris Wickham