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4 October 2014

Jota, Alex Pritchard and Jonathan Douglas get the goals as Brentford beat Reading at Griffin Park

Brentford picked up their third home win in their last four matches at Griffin Park with a 3-1 win over Reading.

Jota and Alex Pritchard scored first half goals to give The Bees a 2-0 lead at the break.

Reading may have considered that a slight injustice on the balance of play and pulled one back early in the second half to give themselves hope.

But Jonathan Douglas powered home a header at the far post to seal the win and ensured Reading, like Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United in the last four weeks, left with nothing.

Reading started the game like many have done against The Bees this season, pressing high up the pitch and attempting to stop the home side playing out.

The visitors used three attacking midfield players in behind striker Glenn Murray, trying to stop Brentford’s back four starting their attacking play.

The Bees almost went ahead inside the first 80 seconds – Pritchard smacking the outside of the post with a shot after good work by Alan Judge – but Reading’s attacking midfield trio had them in the game in the early stages.

Nick Blackman forced David Button in to a low save after a good run and, when the ball was recycled, Ryan Edwards shot wide from 25 yards.

Brentford went ahead 11 minutes in when, after picking up a cross field pass, Moses Odubajo laid the ball back to Alan McCormack, his cross was met by the head of Andre Gray and although his effort was blocked, Jota arrived to pick up the pieces and slot home.

Although they had hit the post and scored in the first 11 minutes, The Bees were by no means dominant.

Edwards and Blackman, in particular, were posing problems and Reading had more than their fair share of the ball and territory in the opening quarter.

Edwards had a shot blocked when a cross was half cleared and then forced Button in to a low save before a Hal Robson-Kanu header deflected wide.

Blackman then missed the target with a header before cutting inside and shooting just past Button’s far post.

Brentford had been pressed back since taking the lead but had gone close to a second when a Judge cross was half cleared, Jota fired in a shot that Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici got down well to save and just divert away from Gray.

When The Bees did get their second, just past the half hour, it was against the run of play.

Douglas was the main instigator, robbing Aaron Kuhl of possession and then feeding Gray, the Brentford striker turned away from Alex Pearce but slipped as he prepared to shoot, fortunately Pritchard was there to slot past Federici and double the lead.

It was almost three soon after when Pritchard produced a majestic turn and cross, following a spell of Brentford posession, but Jota looped a header over the bar.

Reading continued to have a big say in the game leading in to half time and went looking for a way back in to it.

Button had a palm a deflected Robson-Kanu cross around the post before a weak effort from Murray failed to trouble the Brentford goalkeeper.

Kuhl shot wide late in the half but the visitors went in to break two down and with an awful lot to do.

They made two changes at half time, introducing Jamie Mackie and Simon Cox and the duo combined to pull a goal back within four minutes.

Mackie cut in off the right wing and fired in a shot that Cox diverted home from close range.

The striker had snuck in behind the Brentford defence and managed to stay onside to turn the ball home from ten yards.

Gray had a sight of goal early in the second half for The Bees, miscuing a volley, but Reading pushed forward looking for a leveller after Cox’s strike.

Murray headed a Chris Gunter cross wide when well-placed and a Mackie shot deflected wide as a slightly more direct approach started to show results.

Brentford could, however, have restored their two-goal lead when James Tarkowski met a Pritchard corner with a powerful downward header but Gunter was well positioned to clear off the line.

Murray headed a corner wide for the visitors while Brentford Manager Mark Warburton introduced Nick Proschwitz and Toumani Diagouraga to try and ensure his side kept control of the match.

The game opened out as it headed in to the final 20 minutes with Reading leaving more men up and Brentford able to counter attack.

Tarkowski deflected a Blackman header away from goal and Button got down well to save from Mackie while at the end, Proschwitz saw a shot deflect wide.

Judge seemed as if he would restore the two-goal lead when he got on to a Pritchard pass and rounded Federici but he was forced wide and when he cut back the low shot was saved.

Pritchard then had a shot deflected wide after an exquisite turn before setting up Odubajo to drill across the face of goal and just beyond Proschwitz.

Odubajo forced Federici in to a save with a fierce shot after a good run and when Pritchard delivered the resulting corner, Douglas got up highest to head home off the underneath of the bar.

Reading refused to lie down – Button saved a low free kick from Jordan Obita before a Mackie effort was blocked and Oliver Norwood curled a shot over.

Jake Bidwell made a vital clearance from a Pavel Pogrebnyak cross after Diagouraga had been robbed in midfield and Obita then fired over.

Blackman just missed the target with another shot but Brentford had just about seen the game out and went looking for a fourth goal.

Proschwitz turned a Judge free kick inches wide of the post and Douglas then went close from 20 yards.

Obita prevented Brentford ending the last move of the match – a brilliant one involving half a dozen players – with a goal when he cleared as Proschwitz prepared to turn in a Jon Toral cross.

But that could not prevent The Bees taking the points.

Brentford: Button; McCormack, Tarkowski, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas; Odubajo, Pritchard (sub Toral 84 mins), Judge, Jota (sub Diagouraga 66 mins); Gray (sub Proschwitz 59 mins)

Subs (not used): Bonham, Dean, Tébar, Betinho

Bookings: Diagouraga (83 mins), Craig (86 mins) (second of season)

Reading: Federici; Gunter, Pearce, Hector, Obita; Kuhl (sub Pogrebnyak 79 mins), Norwood; Blackman, Edwards (sub Cox h/t), Robson-Kanu (sub Mackie h/t); Murray

Subs (not used): Andersen, Taylor, Long, Cooper

Bookings: Kuhl (74 mins), Cox (79 mins)

Attendance: 10,776 (1,628 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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