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30 August 2014

A goal in each half as Brentford beat Rotherham United

A goal at the end of each half gave Brentford their second Sky Bet Championship win of the season, away to Rotherham United.

Andre Gray scored at the end of the first half and Nick Proschwitz came off the bench to tap home in the dying seconds to ensure Brentford got the win.

Rotherham started positively; they tried to press Brentford deep in the visitors’ defensive areas and looked to build a territorial advantage.

The hosts are well known as a tall, powerful unit and made no attempt to disguise it with long throws in to the penalty area and good set piece delivery early on.

But Brentford weathered the storm, got their noses in front before the break and withstood the pressure after half time.

Although the home side hit the woodwork twice, Brentford had enough chances of their own to believe they merited the win.

Rotherham almost went ahead early on from one Kari Arnason long throw when Kirk Broadfoot headed against the crossbar and Ben Pringle’s nodded follow-up was saved by David Button.

The Brentford goalkeeper saved a Richard Wood header from another long throw soon after.

The Bees were more comfortable in posession than their hosts and looked to move the ball through midfield rather than back to front quickly.

Thy also had a good early chance when Alex Pritchard released Gray, he got away from Wood and Arnason and shot early but Adam Collin got down well to save to his left.

Both teams looked dangerous on the break and the game flew from end to end at times.

When Alan Judge went down at one end only to have his penalty appeals waved away by referee Stuart Attwell, the hosts broke quickly and Matt Derbyshire fired across the face of goal.

Moments later Gray led a break from a Rotherham throw but was disposed when The Bees had four on three and the home side went straight down the other end and created a shooting opportunity for Pringle that was deflected wide.

James Tarkowski headed over when well-placed from a free kick and Pritchard nodded a Judge ball over the top from eight yards.

Paul Taylor and Derbyshire missed the target from distance for the hoists but Brentford were starting to get on top as Rotherham found it hard to maintain their pressing game.

Jota shot wide after exchanging passes with Judge on the edge of the penalty area and Gray had a header saved when he met a Jake Bidwell cross.

Brentford had another good chance from a low Jota corner but Judge’s effort flew wide.

Rotherham were being forced to clear desperately at times but had enough quality to create good chances when they had the ball in Brentford territory.

Derbyshire failed to react quickly when Alex Revell nodded a cross down and Tarkowski recovered and the Rotherham striker then missed the target with a header from eight yards.

The hosts again showed their danger when Brentford failed to clear a cross, the ball was fed back to Taylor and he curled a shot against the crossbar from 18 yards.

Gray was just unable to turn in a Jota cross from one Brentford break and Stuart Dallas lashed over from another soon after.

The Bees eventually made one of the counter attacks count just before half time.

Dean bravely blocked a Broadfoot shot and Pritchard and Jota combined to win the ball back and get it moving forward, Judge released Gray in behind and the striker cut back before firing an unerring shot in to the net off the far post.

The Bees went in ahead at the break but the game had been close and entertaining.

It was a physical contest with no quarter asked or given and Brentford were holding their own against a Rotherham side built for such occasions.

And The Bees could have gone further ahead early in the second half as Pritchard had a pair of good chances.

The first came following a short free kick and Pritchard lashed in a shot that Collin palmed away.

The second was a better chance – Brentford broke from a Rotherham corner and Pritchard lashed over from ten yards after cutting inside with Jota waiting for a square ball.

Revell turned a Taylor cross wide early in the second half for the hosts before Derbyshire wasted a golden opportunity, he capitalised when Tarkowski failed to deal with a long ball and raced through with only Button to beat but the Brentford goalkeeper saved with his legs.

Rotherham started to pile on the pressure as the minutes ticked down – Taylor and Fabian Brandy had shots blocked and Jordan Bowery headed wide.

Button then saved at the feet of Bowery before making a superb save low to his left from a Taylor volley.

Button denied Taylor again soon after and then saved a Richie Smallwood shot from 20 yards.

Brentford could have sealed the game with 17 minutes remaining when Dallas set Judge in behind, his cross cannoned in to Gray and flew wide when it seemed certain to go in.

The game was held up with around ten minute to play when Scott Hogan, just on for his Sky Bet Championship debut, crumpled in a heap with no-one near him.

He was removed on a stretcher in a knee brace in obvious pain.

Proschwitz, who replaced Hogan, was just unable to turn in a Pritchard cross soon after coming on and Dean headed wide soon after as Brentford looked for the crucial second goal.

But most of the action was at the other end.

Wood headed a delightful Pringle corner wide, Button saved from Taylor, who then had a shot blocked.

Eight minutes of stoppage time were added by Mr Atwell, mostly for the Hogan injury, but it was Brentford that made the most of them.

Proschwitz had a shot blocked and Pritchard curled a free kick inches wide before the second goal came.

Jon Toral burst in to the box, beat two men and square for Proschwitz to tap in in front of more than 600 delirious Brentford fans and give The Bees the points.

 Rotherham United: Collin; Broadfoot, Arnason, Wood, Skarz; Pringle, Frecklington (sub Wordsworth h/t), Smallwood, Taylor; Derbyshire (sub Brandy 67 mins), Revell (sub Bowery 55 mins)

Subs (not used): Loach, Brindley, Newton, Swift

Brentford: Button; McCormack, Tarkowski, Dean, Bidwell; Douglas; Jota (sub Hogan 67 mins (sub Proschwitz 82 mins)), Pritchard, Judge, Dallas; Gray (sub Toral 82 mins)

Subs (not used): Lee, Craig, Tébar, Diagouraga

Bookings: Button (71 mins), Dean (77 mins)

Attendance: 9,016 (611 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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