Bees come from behind twice to win away
Andre Gray came off the substitute’s bench to score the winner as Brentford came from behind twice to beat Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Brentford didn’t start the game well.
They were sloppy in possession in the early exchanges and Blackburn’s aerial presence and power in attack caused The Bees problems.
The hosts went ahead five minutes in with a goal that Brentford would have been very annoyed to have conceded.
But they responded and levelled before the break when Chris Long lashed in.
However, Blackburn scored again before half time and take an advantage in to the second half only for Jota to score one of the goals of the season to level again.
Gray then came off the bench to score the vital fifth goal and seal the win.
The Bees fell behind before a pattern had emerged.
A free kick was awarded in midfield and was quickly played over the top, Rudy Gestede ran on to it and lashed it past David Button from 18 yards.
The evening could have got worse for Brentford very quickly as the hosts were pressing in midfield and then breaking forward with pace.
When Jonathan Douglas was robbed on one occasion the ball was worked from Ben Marshall to Chris Taylor, he was unable to bring it under control first time and then shot wide on the turn.
Tom Cairney had a shot blocked soon after as the home side threatened again and when a long ball was half cleared soon after Taylor set up Jordan Rhodes for a shot that Jake Bidwell did well to block.
But by the midway point of the half Brentford were starting to get a foothold, perhaps even taking control in terms of possession and territory.
And they could have been level when Harlee Dean met a Jota corner with a powerful header but Jason Steele made a magnificent save high to his right.
Douglas headed another cross wide soon after when a corner was half cleared and from another set piece Dean’s effort was blocked.
Button made a good low save, gathering at the second attempt, after Gestede had set up Taylor following another quick break.
The Brentford goalkeeper then saved a lopping Gestede header before, when a long thrown bounced down, Cairney headed over.
But Brentford could have been level when Alan Judge curled a free kick from 25 yards that beat Steele but cannoned away off the crossbar, the ball bounced around and Alex Pritchard let fly with a shot that flew straight in to the midriff of the home goalkeeper.
When The Bees did level late in the first half they probably just about deserved it.
The goal came out of nothing as Chris Long picked up a loose ball, the home defence backed off and he let fly with a shot that deflected off Matt Kilgallon and past Steele in to the net.
Brentford appeared to have the upper hand but conceded again in stoppage time at the end of the first half.
The Bees couldn’t get the ball fully away when a free kick was played in to the box, Cairney and Rhodes set up Taylor and he lashed in to the roof of the net to give the hosts a half time lead.
Marshall fired a free kick over for the home side soon after the break and Cairney also missed the target from distance but Brentford started the second period much better than they started the first.
Pritchard was finding pockets of space and Brentford were rotating the ball around the midfield in a more efficient and incisive manner.
Long had a shot blocked after a nice turn before Pritchard released Dallas in the inside left channel and his low shot was superbly turned around the post by Steele.
The equaliser Brentford had threatened came eight minutes after the break, and it was quite a goal.
Moses Odubajo won the ball just outside his own penalty area and released Jota, the Spaniard ran at least 55 yards, moving in to the space created by a great run from Long, and then fired past Steele from 20 yards.
Pritchard had a curling shot saved soon after but Blackburn made a tactical change, introducing an additional central midfield player in the shape of Jay Spearing, and started to take control of the game.
Rhodes turned an Adam Henley cross wide and then should done better when meeting a Spearing cross with his head soon after.
Gestede turned a Taylor cross over the bar after a lengthy period of possession for the hosts.
Taylor also had a shot blocked as the minutes ticked down and it looked like the next goal would win it.
Both teams were attacking with numbers when they had the chance but there were few good chances, until Brentford took the lead for the first time on the evening with six minutes remaining thanks to their three second half introductions.
Substitute Toumani Diagouraga spread the play and Jon Toral, also off the bench, found Jota, his shot deflected and Steele saved to his right but he could only turn it against Gray, the third replacement, who bundled it over the line.
Cairney came close to a leveller with a volley but Brentford were much better in defence in the second half and even dominated aerially once Gestede was replaced.
They had done enough to get the win and maintain their position in the top six of the Sky Bet Championship.
Blackburn Rovers: Steele; Henley, Baptiste, Kilgallon, Spurr; Taylor, Cairney, Evans, Marshall (sub Spearing 58 mins); Gestede (sub Brown 74 mins), Rhodes
Subs (not used): Eastwood, Williamson, Songo’o, Lenihan, Mahoney
Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Tarkowski, Dean, Bidwell; Douglas; Jota, Pritchard (sub Toral 77 mins), Judge (sub Diagouraga 64 mins), Dallas; Long (sub Gray 71 mins)
Subs (not used): Bonham, Craig, McCormack, Smith
Bookings: Judge (35 mins) (seventh of season), Dean (47 mins) (sixth of season)
Attendance: 13,382 (457 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham