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Match Reports

Brentford v Ipswich Town

26 December 2014

Brentford were beaten at home in the league for only the third time in 2014 by promotion-chasing Ipswich Town.

The teams started the day second and third in the Sky Bet Championship but it was Ipswich who took the honours in the top-of-the-table clash.

The afternoon could not have started worse for The Bees, a goal down with 19 seconds on the clock.

Brentford kicked off and moved the ball around their defensive areas before giving it away playing in to midfield, Teddy Bishop fed Daryl Murphy and he finished expertly from 16 yards.

A bad start did not get a great deal better and The Bees were well beaten in the end by a team that ended the match top of the Sky Bet Championship and showed why they deserved to be there.

Whilst nominally set up 4-4-2, the visitors were comfortable playing in a far more fluid way, the movement of Murphy and David McGoldrick was tough for The Bees to handle and Bishop ran things from the centre of midfield.

Murphy eventually finished with two, Paul Anderson grabbed the third and Tommy Smith scored late one as the visitors took the points with a 4-2 win and joined Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers as the only teams to take three points from Griffin Park this year.

Jay Tabb could have doubled Ipswich’s lead inside the first ten minutes but shot over from ten yards and, after turning Tony Craig, Murphy got away a shot that David Button had to dive full stretch to his right to save.

After striking early Ipswich were happy to let Brentford have a lot of the ball, particularly in their own half.

Jota looked the man most likely to fashion an opening for The Bees but Ipswich’s defence was solid and all chances had to be earned.

Andre Gray headed Brentford’s first real effort wide The Bees almost levelled when Jota led a break and, after getting the ball back from Jake Bidwell, let fly with a shot that Bartosz Bialkowski couldn’t hold and Ipswich defender Smith had to scramble away.

Bishop had a shot blocked for the visitors after a great move involving Jonathan Parr, McGoldrick and Tabb but 21 minutes in they had a second.

It came from a long ball down the middle by Christophe Berra after he had dispossessed Gray in his own penalty area; Murphy got away from Craig, rounded Button and stroked the ball home.

McGoldrick had an effort blocked following a short free kick and Bishop lashed over before Ipswich scored their third before the half hour.

Once again it came on the counter attack, this time the ball was worked down the left, Tabb delivered, Murphy couldn’t quite get enough on it to convert but Anderson arrived to tap it in.

The game wasn’t necessarily over at 3-0 but Brentford knew they needed to get themselves on the score sheet soon to have any hope.

Bialkowski made a fine save from a Gray headed and Odubajo fired wide as The Bees attacked.

They came close to getting a goal back just before half time when Gray fed an Alan Judge pass in to the path of Jonathan Douglas but Bishop got back to make a superb recovery tackle and ensure his team went in at the break 3-0 up.

Brentford were much improved after the break, moving the ball quicker and making more interceptions to prevent Ipswich breaking quickly.

Button had to save a Murphy free kick but almost all the action was at the other end with Jota, Judge and Alex Pritchard starting to link to good effect.

A deflected Toumani Diagouraga shot was saved before Judge curled a free kick in to a defensive wall.

Jota weaved his way through before being stopped by Berra and Bialkowski saved a Douglas header before a Judge cross just eluded Gray.

Bialkowski saved from Judge and Jota shot wide as Brentford continued to press.

Ipswich had offered little after the break, confident they had done enough to win the game in the first half and knowing they only needed to defend well.

They could, however, have made it completely safe when Murphy got in behind again but, under pressure from Harlee Dean, failed to make a good enough contact on his attempt to lob Button.

Judge had a shot blocked before the man who came off the bench to replace him pulled one back.

Sam Saunders got the goal with a deflected shot after Jon Toral, also on as a substitute, had picked up a Pritchard pass and turned free on the edge of the box.

But Brentford’s lifeline was quickly snatched away.

Smith almost scored with a header from a Stephen Hunt corner that Bidwell headed off the line but when the ball wasn’t cleared the central defender tricked his way in to space and then fired in to the top corner to make it 4-1.

Stephen Hunt could have made it five but turned a Murphy cross wide while at the other end a Dean header was blocked and Bidwell smashed the loose ball over.

Brentford got another back as the game entered the final minute.

A corner was half cleared and Toral recycled it, Jota and Bidwell linked to get the ball in to the box, Nick Proschwitz had a shot blocked on the turn but Saunders arrived to poke it in.

The Bees pressed for another goal to set up a thrilling finish but couldn’t find it and Ipswich climbed to the top of the Championship.

Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas (sub Toral 65 mins), Diagouraga; Jota, Pritchard, Judge (sub Saunders 75 mins); Gray (sub Proschwitz 65 mins)

Subs (not used): Bonham, Tarkowski, Dallas, Smith

Bookings: Odubajo (24 mins), Craig (64 mins) (fifth of season)

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Chambers, Berra, Smith, Parr; Anderson (sub N. Hunt 65 mins), Bishop (sub Bru 72 mins), Skuse, Tabb (sub S. Hunt 72 mins); McGoldrick, Murphy

Subs (not used): Gerken, Clarke, Ambrose, Sammon

Bookings: N. Hunt (90 mins)

Attendance: 12,165 (1,680 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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