Bees win top-of-the-table clash
Brentford survived the loss of James Tarkowski to a red card to beat Leyton Orient in a televised top-of-the-table clash.
The history books will show that Brentford won 1-0 with Marcello Trotta scoring the only goal in first half stoppage time.
But that hides the story of the match.
Brentford, who started the day third in Sky Bet League One, went to East London to take on the team that were second in the table at kick-off.
They won a league game against their London neighbours away from home for the first time in nearly two decades and did so despite playing more than 45 minutes with ten men.
And, for the way they played when reduced to ten, they deserved it.
Brentford started the match, shown live on Sky Sports, well and had the first sight of goal when Clayton Donaldson pulled a shot wide after Trotta had burst in to the penalty area.
The Bees started with the 4-3-3 system that has served them well this season.
When they were able to get their full backs forward and utilise the extra man in midfield, Brentford could create pockets of space and play the game on the front foot.
Orient, however, were working extremely hard in midfield, they were shutting off the space and pressing Brentford.
While there were few errors in possession from The Bees, they spent much of the first half hour playing in their own territory.
The home side definitely had more of the chances in the first half hour, albeit they did not force David Button in to anything beyond the routine.
David Mooney lifted an effort over the bar after Kevin Lisbie had got in behind The Bees, looking suspiciously offside.
Lisbie then had a header blocked before a Romain Vincelot shot deflected over the bar.
When the corner came in, Scott Cuthbert headed down and Tony Craig made a great block to prevent Mooney turning it home.
Dean Cox fired just wide from the edge of the penalty area soon after before Gary Sawyer hit a free kick from 22 yards low in to a defensive wall.
While Orient were on top, Brentford should have gone ahead midway through the first half when George Saville burst through the midfield and split the home defence with a pass, Donaldson raced away and got a shot off that Orient goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic did very well to keep out.
Button saved a Cox header and then a low shot from the same man when he looked in a position to do better.
The last 15 minutes of the first half was very stop start.
Referee Robert Madley was halting play for infringements that weren’t always obvious to most watchers.
The majority of them were going the way of the home side but they failed to make the most of their chances to put the ball in to the penalty area.
Alan Judge shot over for The Bees after one break and in stoppage time at the end of the first half, the visitors got their noses in front.
A break seemed to be slowing when Saville fed Alan McCormack but his ball was fed by Forshaw in to the path of Trotta, the Italian striker let fly from 20 yards and crashed the ball in to the back of the net off the post.
The goal came seconds before half time and seconds after the break it could have been two.
Donaldson escaped down the right and put the ball across, Trotta’s shot looked destined for the bottom corner but Nathan Clarke was able to block.
Brentford had the advantage on the score board but they were soon a man down on the pitch.
Tarkowski had been booked in the first half for a foul on Cuthbert and when he had a heavy touch in midfield, dived in and fouled Vincelot, Mr Madley had no choice but to show a second yellow card.
The central defender walked off with his head tucked inside his shirt knowing, while The Bees could have questioned some decisions, neither yellow card was debateable.
Orient flew forward, looking to make their advantage count immediately.
Craig made a vital tackle to prevent Moses Odubajo shooting and Cox fired a free kick in to a defensive wall.
When the ball then came back in, Donaldson tackled Clarke and McCormack headed the loose ball away as it ricocheted around the six-yard box.
Button then saved a Mooney header before Lisbie fired over.
Harlee Dean, back from injury, came on to replace Trotta and Brentford moved Donaldson in to a position as a lone striker.
Their ability to keep the ball and break quickly, plus Orient’s need to chase the game, gave The Bees hope.
They defended with a solid line, with Jonathan Douglas shielding, and broke with pace when they could.
Saville blasted over from distance before setting up Judge to fire high and wide from the left side.
Judge had a shot blocked after a good break before Mr Madley waved away appeals for a penalty when Clarke hauled down Saville after the midfield player had exchanged passes with Donaldson and looked set to pull the trigger.
Saville was then unable to turn in a Forshaw cross at full stretch at the far post.
Orient brought on an additional striker, Shaun Batt, as they chased the game and Brentford had to be switched on in defence.
Craig made a vital tackle to prevent Lisbie getting on to a Vincelot lay-off and Jake Bidwell got up make a fantastic headed clearance to stop the same man nodding home – the ball dropped to Odubajo but his low shot was saved by Button and Brentford cleared.
Batt had a shot blocked and Cox curled over when well-placed as Orient piled on the pressure.
The home side’s attacking instincts left gaps at the back and Brentford had chances to seal it.
Donaldson’s header from a Judge corner hit Douglas and flew inches wide before Forshaw forced Jakupovic in to a low save and then fired over.
A deflected effort from substitute Chris Dagnall flew just past the far post and from a corner soon after, Clarke nodded down and Batt’s header was cleared off the line by McCormack.
Mr Madley decided a sell-out crowd, including more than 2,500 noisy Brentford fans, wanted to see five more minutes and The Bees had to stand up strong in stoppage time.
However, Orient appeared to have run out of steam.
The best chance in the final five minutes fell to Judge, who was released by Forshaw; his low shot beat Jakupovic but cannoned to safety off the post.
Mr Madley brought proceedings to a close soon after and Brentford had the win that took them back in to the League One automatic promotion places.
Leyton Orient: Jakupovic; Omozusi, Cuthbert, Clarke, Sawyer (sub Batt 70 mins); Odubajo, James (sub Bartley 89 mins), Vincelot, Cox; Lisbie (sub Dagnall 75 mins), Mooney
Subs (not used): Larkins, Lasimant, Simpson, Ness
Bookings: Sawyer (40 mins)
Brentford: Button; McCormack, Tarkowski, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw, Douglas, Saville; Donaldson, Trotta (sub Dean 51 mins), Judge
Subs (not used): Lee, Yennaris, Reeves, Dallas, Adams, Grigg
Bookings: Tarkowski (18 mins), Donaldson (40 mins) (fourth of season), Forshaw (53 mins) (third of season), Judge (86 mins) (fourth of season)
Sent Off: Tarkowski (49 mins) (second bookable offence)
Attendance: 8,335 (2,597 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham