Jota fires in the winner as Brentford come from behind to beat Fulham in Sky Bet Championship match at Griffin Park
Jota came off the substitute’s bench to fire home a stoppage time winner as Brentford were victorious in their first league derby against Fulham for more than 16 years.
The visitors had taken the lead against the run of play and looked set to take the points as they held the advantage going in to the final ten minutes.
But Harlee Dean, who was responsible for Fulham’s goal, smashed home an equaliser and Brentford once again rose to the occasion.
In front of the Sky TV cameras Jota’s deflected shot whistled in to the back of the net to give Brentford four Sky Bet Championship wins in a row and rock Griffin Park to its very foundations.
The home side definitely deserved their win.
They had the better of it almost from the first whistle, dominating the early territory and, particularly, posession.
They looked more comfortable on the ball than their visitors, who resorted to longer balls to clear the danger often in the first 15 minutes, and started to move it up the pitch in a delightful manner.
It took ten minutes for the chances to start to come but The Bees could have been a couple up by the half hour.
It took a fine block from Elsad Zverotic to divert an Alex Pritchard shot over the top after Andre Gray had strode away from Dan Burn on the right and, from the resulting corner, a Tony Craig header was tipped over by Marcus Bettinelli.
The Fulham goalkeeper was then forced to back-peddle quickly to hold on to a looping Alan Judge cross and ended up crashing in to his own post and only just keeping the ball the right side of his line.
Bettinelli was turning in to the key figure in the match and his evening got busier as it wore on.
He made a fine save low to his left to keep out a diving header from Jon Toral after Craig and Moses Odubajo had created room for Judge to put over a cross.
Craig had a header blocked from the resulting corner and when the next deliver dropped loose, Jonathan Douglas fired it across the face of goal from a tight angle.
Douglas then missed the target with a header and volleyed a Jake Bidwell cross over later in the half but it was fellow midfield player Toumani Diagouraga who came closest to opening the scoring in the first half.
Brentford broke quickly from a corner and Gray escaped the attentions of Zverotic on the left, his low cross dropped nicely for Diagouraga and his placed shot looked destined for the net before Bettinelli went full stretch to his left to get a fingertip on it and send it wide of the post.
Brentford deserved to be ahead at half time and it was only the brilliance of Bettinelli that stopped them.
He made a superb save high to his left from a Judge free kick and, when the resulting corner was half-cleared, the Brentford man then saw a volley blocked.
The visitors had offered little in attack.
They looked to play long and get Hugo Rodallega and Ross McCormack in behind.
When the balls were right it was effective but it did not happen often in the first 45 minutes, albeit they ended the half better than they started it.
Craig made a tackle when Rodallega got in behind on to one ball and McCormack’s follow-up was blocked.
While they had a few set pieces and some spells of posession that was as close as they came before first half stoppage time when McCormack delivered a cross and Rodallega met it with a powerful downward header but David Button was well-placed to save to his left.
Button saved well again after the break, getting down well to palm away a McCormack effort, but the early stages of the second half were similar to the first, Brentford pressed forward, had the majority of posession and the best chances.
Bettinelli made another superb save when Gray broke forward and exchanged passed with Judge before firing in a low shot from 12 yards.
Fulham’s goal came just before the hour mark and was very much against the run of play.
Dean slipped and passed straight to George Williams, he set McCormack away in the inside left channel and when the ball was played square, Rodallega slotted it home.
Brentford introduced Stuart Dallas and Jota as they looked for a response and maintained control of the game.
Fulham had something to hold on to; they sat in and looked to allow Brentford to play in front of them.
Dallas almost set up Gray with his first touch as a downward header from a Judge cross was only just gathered by Bettinelli before the striker.
Dallas then volleyed over and Pritchard shot wide before Dean wriggled clear in the box before seeing a shot blocked.
Rodallega almost sealed the win on the break when he was played in by McCormack but Button got down well to save.
At that proved to be vital as Brentford were level moments later.
Dean stepped out of defence with the ball and played it wide to Dallas before barging Scott Parker out of the way in his desire to get in to the penalty area, when the ball came back in the centre half was there to lash in to the top corner and set up a thrilling finish.
Fulham responded well to the goal, a fierce McCormack free kick deflected over the bar and the striker then set up Williams for a shot that was blocked by Craig.
Button also denied substitute Thomas Eisfeld and as the game ticked past the 90th minute Brentford applied the killer blow.
Judge played a superb cross field pass to Jota on the right touchline and the Spaniard set off, he weaved his way inside and let fly with a shot that flicked off Burn and beat Bettinelli.
Griffin Park could scarcely have heard noise like it in its 110 years as Brentford celebrated and Fulham’s players slumped to the floor.
It could have been more emphatic as a low Nick Proschwitz shot was saved and Jota was denied by Bettinelli.
But no-one in red and white was overly worried as the points stayed in TW8.
Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas, Diagouraga (sub Jota 75 mins); Pritchard, Toral (sub Dallas 65 mins), Judge; Gray (sub Proschwitz 84 mins)
Subs (not used): Bonham, Tarkowski, Saunders, Smith
Bookings: Dean (28 mins) (second of season), Toral (38 mins)
Fulham: Bettinelli; Zverotic, Burn, Bodurov, Stafylidis; Ruiz (sub Eisfeld 73 mins), Parker, Christensen, Williams; McCormack, Rodallega
Subs (not used): Király, Hutchinson, Roberts, Woodrow, Dembélé, Hyndman
Bookings: Burn (30 mins), Zverotic (31 mins)
Attendance: 12,255 (1,649 away fans)
By Chris Wickham