Brentford lose to AFC Bournemouth
Substitute Junior Stanislas scored the only goal as AFC Bournemouth beat Brentford.
An even match was settled inside the final 20 minutes when Stanislas came off the bench to volley home at the far post.
Brentford will come away from the game believing they were worth at least a share of the spoils.
The Bees came with plans to attack.
They started with Jonathan Douglas and Marcos Tébar in front of their back four and that gave their attackers a licence to push on.
The first half was even, albeit Bournemouth finished it well, and Brentford had much the better of the last half hour.
But The Bees couldn’t score and Bournemouth made the most of their best chance to take the win.
Brentford started well – Moses Odubajo forced Lee Camp in to a fine save with a fierce left foot shot and Alan Judge shot wide when well-placed.
The Bees almost went ahead from a well-worked free kick six minutes in when the ball was worked to Andre Gray ten yards out who swivelled and fired in a shot that beat Camp but cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and bounced away to safety.
Although Brentford started well, the first quarter of the game was relatively even overall in terms of possession, territory and chances.
Matt Ritchie fired over from distance for the hosts before a low corner fell to Yann Kermorgant and David Button had to get down low to his left to make a fine save.
A Tommy Elphick header deflected wide and Eunan O’Kane missed the target from distance as Bournemouth pressed.
Gray had a golden chance for The Bees when he got in behind and on to a Judge pass but he slipped a little as he turned a shot wide with his left foot.
Douglas headed wide soon after but as the game headed towards the break, Bournemouth started to take control.
They pressed The Bees in to a few mistakes, stopping Button playing the ball short from defence.
A few of the longer balls failed to find their target and Bournemouth were able to dominate posession.
An O’Kane shot was blocked and he then set up Ritchie for a shot that deflected wide.
Ritchie then hit a powerful volley that hit Callum Wilson and flew wide and forced Button in to a low save with a dipping, swerving effort.
The Bees were able, however, to weather the storm and had the last chance of the half, an Alex Pritchard free kick that flew over the bar.
The home side continued to hold the upper hand after half time.
Brentford were forced to play on the break for the first ten minutes of the second period.
Bournemouth should have taken the lead when they broke on the left, Button came to gather a Marc Pugh cross but Kermorgant nodded it down to Wilson, the striker looked certain to score but Jake Bidwell cleared the bouncing shot off the line.
Ritchie headed over and Bidwell made a vital block when Kermorgant headed towards goal and Button appeared beaten.
But The Bees were proving they could attack well on the break.
Judge curled an effort wide from one attack and then lashed over when well-placed soon after.
Another break failed to turn in to a chance when O’Kane intercepted a pass when Brentford had men over.
Button saved from Wilson but Brentford started to grow in to the half, helped by the introduction of Stuart Dallas.
Elphick made a vital interception to stop Gray converting a Dallas cross and when Odubajo cut it back, Douglas curled it narrowly over from 20 yards.
Camp saved a curling Pritchard free kick and then got down to turn away a Judge effort while Dallas had a shot blocked.
Tony Craig had another great chance when a corner flew across the box but he sliced his left foot shot over the bar from eight yards.
With The Bees now pressing their hosts it looked as if the visitors would get the goal if one was to come.
But, instead, it came at the other end.
Brentford ceded posession in their half and Ryan Fraser picked up the ball, he created the space to deliver a fine ball to the back post for fellow substitute Stanislas to convert from close range.
The Bees tried to respond, McCormack fired wide, Camp saved a low Pritchard effort and Elphick made a marvellous interception to prevent Gray tapping home a Judge cross from close range.
Bidwell nodded wide and Douglas headed a McCormack cross inches over as Brentford tried in vain for a goal.
Stanislas almost grabbed a second at the death with a low shot that was blocked but in the end, his earlier involvement proved vital.
AFC Bournemouth: Camp; Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels; Ritchie (sub Fraser 66 mins), Arter (sub Gosling 83 mins), O’Kane, Pugh (sub Stanislas 66 mins); Kermorgant, Wilson
Subs (not used): Flahavan, Rantie, Harte, Smith
Bookings: Kermorgant (73 mins)
Brentford: Button; McCormack, Tarkowski, Craig, Bidwell; Tébar (sub Dallas 60 mins), Douglas; Odubajo (sub Smith 80 mins), Pritchard, Judge; Gray (sub Proschwitz 80 mins)
Subs (not used): Lee, Dean, Diagouraga, Moore
Bookings: Tarkowski (37 mins), Craig (70 mins), McCormack (87 mins)
Attendance: 10,114 (1,392 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham