Bees win London derby
Andre Gray scored two and made one as Brentford picked up their third win in seven days, beating Millwall at The Den.
The striker took his tally to four in a week as he put The Bees two up before the hour mark in a fiercely contested London derby but Millwall hit back.
They were then hit by a double punch as the hosts hit back to level.
But Gray fired the ball across and a combination of Harlee Dean and Danny Shittu put the ball in to give Brentford the win.
The phrase ding-dong-derby was invented for games such as this.
Brentford had control for long stages but Millwall found a way to respond only for The Bees to come again and get the win they probably deserved over the course of the 90 minutes.
Brentford started the match in positive fashion.
They looked to attack from the first whistle, with a forward-thinking midfield joining Gray in attack.
Millwall tried to press The Bees high up the pitch, stopping the visitors from playing out.
They were also happy for it to become a physical contest, disrupting the flow of Brentford’s football.
The home side were playing on the counter-attack but it gave them chances in the first 20 minutes.
Lee Martin shot well wide from distance and then curled a corner against the outside of a post.
Martin also set up a shooting chance for Lee Gregory that Dean did well to block and the Brentford defence was busy again when Ricardo Fuller got away on the left, his cut back was met by Magaye Gueye but deflected away from goal.
Alex Pritchard headed wide early on for The Bees and Moses Odubajo, up from right back, cut inside and curled a shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Brentford were dominating possession, playing the better football and were forcing Millwall to work hard to prevent them picking a way through.
The Bees were starting to create chances – Jota blasted over from 20 yards after Pritchard had led a break when a pass to either side may have presented a better opening.
Gray then had his first sight of goal; put through by the incisive Jon Toral he pulled a shot wide from ten yards.
The game started to get a little scrappy as half time approached.
Toumani Diagouraga, who had been knitting things together for The Bees, was unable to get on the ball for a short period and Millwall were able to attack on their left side to decent effect.
Fuller headed wide from a Matthew Briggs cross and the left back got forward again soon after, drilling the ball in to Martin and it took a reaction stop from David Button to keep it out.
But Brentford always looked likely to be able to open the home side up and they did so three minutes before the break.
Odubajo picked up a loose ball and fed it infield, Diagouraga moved it on to Pritchard and he picked the lock, Gray ran in behind and lashed the ball past David Forde to put Brentford in front.
The home looked for a quick response, Gregory headed wide when well-placed, but Brentford could have gone in two up when a corner was half cleared, Jota fired in a shot and Toral turned it towards goal but straight at Forde.
The second half started quite slowly, Gregory had an early shot over, but exploded in to life ten minutes in.
The spark was Brentford’s second goal – Judge got on to another loose Millwall pass and set Gray away, he raced clear to slot past Forde and grab his fourth goal in seven days.
But any suggestion that was game over was spectacularly put to bed as Millwall came flying back.
They reduced the deficit within two minutes, albeit in controversial circumstances.
A corner came in from the Millwall left and Shittu rose highest, the ball looped towards the net and Gregory appeared to make contact with Button before the ball hit him and rolled in.
The goal was awarded to Shittu; while Brentford will feel it should not have counted at all, but certainly hit Gregory before going over the line.
Within a matter of seconds it was 2-2.
Millwall piled forward and the ball was played inside by Martin to Alan Dunne, his low shot from 18 yards beat Button to his right and nestled in the corner.
The home side could have gone in front moments later when Briggs crossed from the right and Gregory met it with a powerful headed that hit the outside of the post and bounced away.
Brentford were rocking but found a way to regain their composure and could have gone back in front when Gray got in behind Shittu and let fly from 25 yards, the ball squirmed through the grasp of Forde but dribbled inches wide.
The Bees did not, however, have to wait long for their goal.
It almost came directly from the resulting corner, which dropped to Toral but his effort was blocked inside the six-yard box.
Millwall couldn’t get the ball far enough away and Toral fed it to Gray on the right he drilled the ball across in to a melee of players and it ended in the back of the net.
It was, again, officially awarded to Shittu but Dean took the acclaim of his team mates and approaching 2,000 noisy Brentford fans.
Millwall had already shown they would not lie down and with the hosts pushing forward it was a fantastic end-to-end finish to the game.
A Scott McDonald shot was blocked before Button denied Mathias Ranégie and then Fuller, Millwall’s third chance in the space of 30 seconds then fell to Gregory but he shot over on the turn.
Brentford continued to attack on the break, Gray fired across the face of goal after getting on to a Judge pass and Forde saved a low shot from Tommy Smith.
Judge had a shot blocked and Gray thought he had completed a hat-trick when he turned in from close range but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Martin curled a free kick over and then delivered for Dunne to head wide when unmarked.
Button saved well from a Ranégie header and the substitute striker then fired over when well placed.
Stuart Dallas shot wide when well-placed with players waiting for a cut back and a low Sam Saunders shot was saved as Brentford sought a fourth.
Millwall pressed to the death, throwing the ball forward and looking for a leveller but Brentford held firm and sent The Lions the same way as Derby County and Nottingham Forest in the past seven days to make it nine points from nine in a week.
Millwall: Forde; Dunne, Shittu, Beevers (sub Ranégie 67 mins), Briggs; Chaplow (sub Upson 82 mins), Williams; Gregory, Martin, Gueye (sub McDonald 57 mins); Fuller
Subs (not used): King, Woolford, Webster, Abdou
Bookings: Dunne (2 mins), Martin (31 mins), Gregory (90 mins)
Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Diagouraga; Pritchard (sub Smith 76 mins), Judge, Toral (sub Saunders 76 mins), Jota (sub Dallas 65 mins); Gray
Subs (not used): Bonham, Yennaris, Tarkowski, Proschwitz
Bookings: Bidwell (37 mins) (second of season), Gray (62 mins)
Attendance: 13,048 (1,771 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham