Trotta goal gives Bees three wins in a week
Marcello Trotta scored the only goal as Brentford made it three wins in a week.
Shrewsbury Town were the visitors to Griffin Park on a wet afternoon and in front of a crowd boosted by a ‘Pay What You Can’ ticketing offer The Bees did enough to win.
Brentford were positive from the outset.
They scored inside the first 20 minutes and should probably have put the game to bed by half time.
Shrewsbury were never really out of the contest but offered nowhere near a much in attack and Brentford were worthy winners as they added three more points to wins over Colchester United and Bristol City in the last seven days.
Although it took a few minutes for the one-touch passing and intricate attacking play to click in to place, The Bees started on the front foot and pushed the visitors back.
Shrewsbury were forced to play on the break from the early minutes and although they pushed bodies forward quickly when they could, trying to attack, all the play was in Brentford’s attacking areas.
Trotta fired just wide at the near post after Adam Forshaw had set Clayton Donaldson away in the inside right channel and he crossed low.
Donaldson had a header saved soon after and Brentford were ahead 16 minutes in.
Jonathan Douglas fed the ball on to Trotta and he had room to turn, he found Kadeem Harris on the right and then headed for the box in time to volley home as the winger skipped past Ryan Woods and delivered an inch perfect cross.
The goal only gave The Bees a further boost of confidence and they took complete control.
They nearly had a second when a George Saville pass got Donaldson in behind but the ball ran away on a greasy surface from him and his shot was saved.
Forshaw shot over soon after following good combination play between Trotta and Saville.
Shrewsbury had not put together an attack of note in the first half hour and Brentford’s only concern would have been that they only had a one-goal lead.
It almost came back to haunt them when Harlee Dean was robbed by Tom Bradshaw and Jon Taylor cut inside off the left flank, his fierce shot was well held by David Button.
That was, however, a rare attacking threat from the visitors.
Trotta wriggled free and had a shot blocked before he forced Chris Weale to save high to his right and Saville shot just wide.
Harris had a shot blocked after getting away from two or three men and Saville blasted wide from long range.
Brentford’s midfield trio – Forshaw, Douglas and Saville – had complete control of the game.
Shrewsbury’s midfield was ill-equipped to cope with their movement and triangles of passing.
They did not come to defend, but had little choice.
When Taylor got in to the game for the visitors they looked as if they might create something and he forced Button in to a save at the end of the half soon after he had beaten the offside trap and got off a shot that Dean blocked.
But The Bees were the dominant force – Donaldson headed wide as half time approached and Weale saved a curling Forshaw effort as the home side went in to the break with a one-goal lead, the least they deserved.
The visitors came out after the break with even more attacking intent than they had in the first half.
They seemed to be a yard quicker than the first 45, able to compete in midfield and moving the ball faster when they got it.
Taylor had a shot blocked early on before Button tipped a looping header over from the same man.
Nicky Wroe miss-hit a volley and then shot wide from distance as the visitors pressed for a leveller.
At the other end, Trotta had a header blocked and then a volley from a Forshaw cross was scrambled away.
The striker then saw a shot blocked after exchanging passes with Douglas.
With Shrewsbury chasing a leveller the game was open in the second half and there were chances at both ends.
Paul Parry cut inside and fired in a shot that deflected just wide while at the other end substitute Sam Saunders had a shot blocked and Saville’s follow-up was saved.
Saville then fired wide for The Bees while Liam McAlinden shot well over at the other end.
Saunders had a shot blocked before an Alan McCormack cross was just out of the reach of Donaldson at the far post.
Donaldson then cut inside and fired wide before a curling Forshaw shot was saved.
Donaldson then saw a header from a Jake Bidwell cross saved before a more powerful aerial effort flew wide.
Both teams rang the changes as the minutes ticked down and Brentford’s introduction of Will Grigg and Toumani Diagouraga gave them added impetus.
The two combined and Grigg fired in a shot that was blocked before Donaldson volleyed over while Adam Reach fired just wide at the other end as Shrewsbury served notice they were still in the game.
Button saved from Luke Summerfield and a Grigg shot was blocked at the other end before Donaldson had a great chance to seal it in stoppage time.
After intricate play on the left, Saville got in to the box by the dead ball line, his cut back was fired wide from eight yards by Donaldson.
Saunders shot wide from ten yards after being set up by Donaldson following a quick break but it proved not to matter as referee Keith Stroud brought the game to a close soon after and Brentford had the points.
Brentford: Button; McCormack, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw (sub Grigg 82 mins), Douglas, Saville; Donaldson, Trotta (sub Diagouraga 78 mins), Harris (sub Saunders 62 mins)
Subs (not used): Lee, Logan, Taylor, El Alagui
Bookings: Trotta (74 mins)
Shrewsbury Town: Weale; Woods, Winfield, Mkandawire, Jacobson; Taylor, Wroe, Wildig, Parry (sub Reach 71 mins); McAlinden, Bradshaw (sub López 71 mins)
Subs (not used): Anyon, Summerfield, Jones, McAllister, Goldson
Bookings: Wildig (45 mins), Jacobson (90 mins)
Attendance: 9,738 (367 away fans)
By Chris Wickham