Courtney Austin's fourth goal of the season helps Brentford to third straight win
Jon De Souza’s side continued their impressive unbeaten start to the season, coming from behind to record a 3-2 victory over Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon.
The Bees deservedly conceded after just ten minutes when Lloyd Humphries fired across Jordan Carey but responded well with two goals in three minutes from Josh Bohui and Courtney Austin just after the half-hour.
Ian Carlo Poveda swept home his second goal in two games with twenty minutes to go, meaning Jarrad Welch’s late goal was merely a consolation.
Right-back Sean Bird returned to the starting line-up for the visit of the Bluebirds’, with Zachary Birse replacing injured captain Seth Owens and centre-back Chris Mepham taking the armband.
Starting the day top of the league clearly gave Brentford confidence as they went for the kill from the whistle, but it didn’t take long for Cardiff to assert their dominance on the game.
The Welsh side were visibly larger in stature, and they had their first attempt after three minutes when Mark Harris burst out of defence, latched onto Welch’s lofted pass but side-footed straight at Jordan Carey.
Harris was involved again moments later when he crossed for Ibo So Sani, whose shot went wide, but after ten minutes the visitors made their pressure count when Humphries’ curling effort beat Carey from the edge of the box.
Brentford were struggling to carve out any meaningful opportunities but after 13 minutes, Julius Fenn-Evans forced Scott Coughlan to make a smart block; Courtney Austin couldn’t make the rebound count.
James McCarthy’s boys were physical to say the least and continued to pile on the pressure, but the Bees showed great character to keep them at bay; Birse proving himself as a worthy replacement for Seth Owens.
After 20 minutes, Humphries had the chance to double his tally when Chris Mepham cynically brought down So Sani, but his free-kick was wild and proved no trouble to Carey.
Just four minutes later Rabbi Matondo was presented with another golden opportunity to double the visitors’ lead but his chipped shot from a goal-kick sailed over the bar.
From the half-hour mark onwards Brentford settled into the game and against the run of play, equalised through Josh Bohui when he intercepted Poveda’s pass, turned his man and wrong-footed Coughlan .
A counter-attack then saw Bohui with the ball at his feet once again but his shot couldn’t match the 40-yard mazy run that came before it.
It didn’t matter, however, as after 36 minutes the game was turned on its head; captain Rollin Menayese felled Austin, and he duly converted the penalty he had just won.
The second half began with a lengthy break when Birse went down injured and when he was deemed unfit to carry on, Romayn Pennant came on in his place.
Nine minutes after the restart, George Harmes displayed the lethal potential in his left foot when he stung the palms of Coughlan from Fenn-Evans’ drop-off and the left-back was given a talking-to when was accused of stamping on Cameron Coxe.
Austin was unlucky not to extend his side’s lead when he hit the post on the hour mark, after a neat one-two between the tenacious Danny Parish and Bohui but recent England U16 international Poveda then made it three with 22 minutes remaining.
Bohui led an incisive Brentford breakaway, he squared to Poveda and the youngster calmly finished the move with his second goal in as many games.
Soon after, the referee was forced to brandish the first yellow card of the game when Lewis Baldwin forced his way through Parish and after 77 minutes Poveda almost increased the scoreline further.
Mepham’s long ball out found its way to Coughlan who sliced the pass into the air and to the feet of Poveda but he couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.
With five minutes of normal time on the clock, Cardiff set up a nervy finale as a couple of passes on the edge of the Bees’ area split the defence and allowed Welch a path through to sweep home.
In the closing stages, substitute Luke Dunn volleyed over from 16 yards before Humphries had one final chance to level proceedings, but when Carey’s punch fell to his feet, the midfielder could do little more than send his half-volley into no-mans-land.
Brentford: Jordan Carey, Sean Bird, George Harmes, Julius Fenn-Evans, Zachary Birse (Romayne Pennant 52), Chris Mepham (c), Josh Bohui, Giovanni McGregor, Courtney Austin (Luke Dunn 77), Ian Carlo Poveda, Danny Parish
Subs not used: Cameron Greaves, Juan Pablo Gonzalez-Velasco
Goal Times: Bohui (33), Austin (p) (36), Poveda (68)
Cardiff City: Scott Coughlan, Mark Harris, Cameron Coxe, Rollin Menayese, Lewis Baldwin, Connor Young, Jarrad Welch, Sean Williams, Rabbi Matondo, Lloyd Humphries, Ibo So Sani (Cameron Williams 62) (Isaac Kelly 83)
Subs not used: Luke Wakeman, James Waite, Jack Bookham
Goal Times: Humphries (10), Welch (85)
Bookings: Baldwin (75)