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Match Reports

Brentford 3 Nottingham Forest 4

Defeat for Bees in Griffin Park thriller

12 August 2017

Your Brentford v Nottingham Forest match report power by Utilita

Brentford started their home season in the Sky Bet Championship with defeat against Nottingham Forest. The Bees went in to a deserved lead late in the first half when John Egan headed home but were behind by the break thanks to goals from Andreas Bouchalakis and Daryl Murphy. When Bouchalakis made it 3-1 just after the interval the game looked up but Andreas Bjelland headed in his first Brentford goal to reduce the deficit with just over ten minutes left. However, Forest went straight up the other and a deflected shot from Kieran Dowell gave them a lead they did not give up. A goal from Neal Maupay gave The Bees late hope but did not change the result.

The visitors probably deserved to take the 4-3 win due to their superiority in both penalty areas. Brentford had more possession and more shots but failed to take the chances they got and gave up a few too many clear-cut openings at the other end. Forest responded well to going behind and then kept the pressure on in the second half to build a lead that Brentford could not claw back.

Brentford started the game on the front foot. They pushed Forest back in the early stages and spent much of the opening exchanges with their attacking players running at the visiting defence. Forest came with an attacking mindset and Zach Clough in behind strikers Murphy and Barry McKay but they did not have enough of the ball in the early moments to have any impact on the game. They had a sight of goal when Joe Worrall headed a McKay cross wide but most of the action was at the other end.

Brentford had two great chances to go ahead early on. The first came when Henrik Dalsgaard nodded a long ball in to the path of Jota and the Spanish attacker found Florian Jozefzoon on the edge of the penalty area but he curled his shot wide of the far post when he should have hit the target. Soon after, Brentford put together a move that enabled Kamohelo Mokotjo and Nico Yennaris to put Lasse Vibe away in the inside left channel, his low shot was well saved by Jordan Smith and Jota was unable to control the loose ball and fire in to an almost unguarded net.

Daniel Bentley made a low save from a Tendayi Darikwa shot and Bjelland then made an important clearance to prevent Murphy poking home after McKay had got away from Egan. That move was started by Matt Mills, who prevented Brentford breaking through, and that was one of numerous early interceptions by Forest’s defensive line. And as the game moved towards the half hour Brentford started to put the pressure on and open the visitors up.

Jozefzoon was just unable to get his foot to a low cross from Dalsgaard and Bjelland saw a shot deflect wide after a free kick was half cleared. Yennaris saw a shot blocked when a corner was half cleared soon after and Brentford were posing problems from set pieces as Forest left men forward to try and break. Eventually, a set piece became a goal. Jozefzoon played it shot and got it back from Jota before delivering a ball to the far post when Egan rose and nodded back across goal, the ball entering the net off the far post.

That could have been something for Brentford to build on with seven minutes to go before half time. Instead by the time the interval came, The Bees were behind. Forest equalised within three minutes when, after Brentford failed to clear a free kick despite two or three attempts, Bouchalakis volleyed in from 20 yards. And within two minutes they were in front. Darikwa created space on the edge of the box and fired in a low shot that beat Bentley but hit the near post, it rebounded straight to Murphy to poke in and complete the turnaround.

There was still time in a frantic finale to the first half for Josh McEachran to chip a ball forward and Dalsgaard to volley it across the face of goal, it took a great clearance from Worrall to prevent Vibe poking home to level. A couple of defensive lapses had cost The Bees dear in the first half and Forest had a lead they could build on. Within two minutes of the restart they had a two-goal cushion and Brentford had a mountain to climb. Bouchalakis scored it again and for the second time in the afternoon it was one to savour. McKay set it back to him and Bouchalakis curled it out of the reach of Bentley and in to the top corner from 20 yards.

Forest had started the second half very brightly and the game could have been over by the hour mark. Worrall should have scored when, following the second phase of a corner, he was unmarked at the far post but sliced wide with only Bentley to beat. McKay also went close when he was put through on goal but Bentley made himself big and beat the low shot away.

Brentford needed to regroup and find a way back in to the game. Forest were starting to find pockets of space in midfield and, especially, in front of Brentford’s defence and were opening up the home defence. The Bees almost conjured something out of nothing when Jozefzoon curled a free kick against a post from 20 yards and that, coupled with the introduction of Ollie Watkins and Romaine Sawyers, seemed to switch the momentum.

Mills headed a corner wide for Forest but most of the action was now at the other end with Brentford pushing on. Jota hit the wall with a free kick and then saw a shot saved after Jozefzoon had cut a McEachran pass in to his path. Smith made a fine save for the visitors, denying Jota from ten yards after a move that had involved Watkins, Sawyers and Egan.

Watkins pulled a shot wide and Vibe shot over before Darikwa missed a good chance at the other end, pulling a shot wide of the far post after getting on to a Ben Osborn cross. Watkins shot wide again for The Bees before another corner led to another goal. Jota played it short and then curled in a cross that Bjelland met, Smith got hands to it but could not keep it out.

Once again Brentford had some momentum but once again Forest snuffed it out. Armand Traoré made a burst in to the box that should have been stopped earlier than it was and well the ball broke, Dowell let fly with a speculative shot that flicked through a forest of legs and rolled in past Bentley. The Bees once again found themselves two down but refused to give up and pressed on and they could have reduced the deficit again with a fine Watkins shot that Smith pushed wide.

Jota had a shot that Smith saved easily but then played a through ball that enabled Maupay to step away from Mills and drill a low shot in to the corner. That gave The Bees just under four minutes to find a leveller and they pressed again. Smith saved from Watkins in the dying seconds but Forest held firm and took the points.

Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Egan, Bjelland, Henry; Yennaris (sub Sawyers 58 mins), Mokotjo, McEachran (sub Watkins 58 mins); Jota, Vibe, Jozefzoon (sub Maupay 69 mins)

Subs (not used): Daniels, Colin, Dean, Barbet

Bookings: Henry (81 mins)

Nottingham Forest: Smith; Worrall, Mills, Mancienne; Vaughan; Darikwa, Bouchalakis (sub Traoré 78 mins), Osborn; Clough (sub Dowell h/t); McKay (sub Carayol 72 mins), Murphy

Subs (not used): Evtimov, Lichaj, Brereton, Cummings

Bookings: Bouchalakis (28 mins), Vaughan (82 mins), Mills (86 mins)

Attendance: 10,169 (1,658 away fans)

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