Grigg goal gives Bees win
Will Grigg scored the only goal as Brentford made it eight wins in nine matches by beating Notts County at Meadow Lane.
The Bees were pushed hard, particularly in the first half, and had to do a lot of defending but they kept their goal intact and scored just before half time to take the win.
There were chances at both ends after the break but Brentford made it six clean sheets in their last seven games and that was enough to give them the win.
Brentford started with a slightly different formation to the one used in recent weeks.
With Toumani Diagouraga in for George Saville, Adam Forshaw was pushed in to a more central, attacking role.
He had Diagouraga and Jonathan Douglas tucked in behind him and had licence to go forward.
Forshaw almost scored six minutes in with a curling shot from 25 yards that beat County goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski but flew just wide of the post.
Both teams started with a positive mind-set.
Douglas headed an early Jake Bidwell corner wide and Danny Haynes flicked an effort narrowly past the post at the other end.
County should have taken an early lead when Alan Sheehan ran from deep and fired in a shot that David Button stopped but couldn’t hold, he recovered quickly to save from Haynes and hen did so again when Jamal Campbell-Ryce fired in a low shot.
Brentford eventually cleared but Haynes, in particular, will feel he should have scored.
After a frenetic, end-to-end, start the game settled down.
Brentford were mainly playing through Forshaw – who fired wide from 25 yards after picking up a Clayton Donaldson nod down – while County were attacking mainly down their right side.
Campbell-Ryce was the main danger and when the home side could get him in space they looked likely to create.
Jack Grealish, on the left, and Callum McGregor, were also effective behind Haynes and there was some nice interplay from the home side.
They started to get the upper hand as the first half reached the midway point, as their hard work in midfield and pace in attack started to pay dividends.
The home side almost scored when Button punched away a corner and Gary Liddle fired it back in but Donaldson blocked on the line with his chest.
Button saved a Sheehan free kick, inexplicably given when the ball hit Tony Craig in the face, Harlee Dean blocked from McGregor and then turned a cross just past his own post.
A low Andre Boucaud shot was saved by Button while Douglas fired over at the other end.
There was no let-up in County’s hustling and harrying as half time approached and Brentford were stretched at times.
The front four were constantly interchanging and popping up in positions where they could influence the game.
Following one nice move in midfield, Haynes escaped on the right but Campbell-Ryce couldn’t convert his cross at the far post.
Kadeem Harris was then forced to block a Haynes shot but just when it seemed that County would take the initiative, if not the lead, in to half time, Brentford struck.
Diagouraga robbed Boucaud in midfield and found himself 30 yards from goal with runners in front, Grigg was released in the inside left and he fired a low shot past Bialkowski and in to the corner.
The confidence visibly drained out of the home side and Dean Leacock had to make a vital block to prevent Harris making it two before the break.
Half time, however, gave them a chance to regroup and they came out with renewed impetus after the interval.
Button had to make an early save at the feet of Haynes before Dean blocked a Grealish shot and Craig did likewise soon after.
The Bees will have known they would have to weather an early storm from the hosts and that certainly came.
The first half effort had returned and they hassled in to every tackle.
But Brentford started to play around them and by the hour mark they had a measure of control.
The Bees had chances to make it safe – Bialkowski saved well from a low Forshaw shot and Douglas shot over before Donaldson missed the target with a header when well-placed.
The best chance fell to Donaldson when he raced clear on to a Grigg flick; he got away in the left channel but shot inches wide of the far post.
McGregor and Liddle had shots blocked for the hosts as the game started to stretch and Bialkowski saved a low Harris shot after the wide man had cut in off the left.
Donaldson shot wide and then missed the target when unmarked from eight yards as Brentford sought the goal that would seal the win.
They still had to be alert at the back as a Sheehan free kick was blocked and Callum Bell shot over after a nice turn.
Grigg could have made the game safe when he got on to a pass from substitute Saville but Bialkowski made a superb one-on-one save.
A Liddle header was blocked while a Donaldson shot was blocked at the other end.
Six minutes of time was added by referee Nigel Miller, who had both sides perplexed by some of his decisions over the course of the 90 minutes, and County came on strong.
Button saved from McGregor and then kept the follow-up out before a Grealish shot was blocked and Sheehan fired wide.
The ball was largely in Brentford territory in the later stages but not in the away side’s net and that was all that mattered.
Notts County: Bialkowski; Freeman, Smith (sub Fox 68 mins), Leacock, Sheehan; Boucaud, Liddle; Campbell-Ryce (sub C. Bell 74 mins), McGregor, Grealish; Haynes
Subs (not used): Spiess, Showunmi, D. Bell, Murray, Fotheringham
Bookings: Haynes (75 mins), Grealish (90 mins)
Brentford: Button; McCormack (sub Logan 74 mins), Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw, Douglas, Diagouraga (sub Saville 55 mins); Donaldson, Grigg, Harris (sub Saunders 81 mins)
Subs (not used): Lee, Nugent, El Alagui, Trotta
Bookings: Craig (78 mins) (third of season), Forshaw (83 mins)
Attendance: 5,132 (734 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham