Two goals in eight first-half minutes gave Brentford a victory over Sky Bet Championship strugglers Ipswich Town.
Following an uneventful opening to the game, Thomas Frank’s side found their swagger midway through the first half and took the lead through Neal Maupay – the Frenchman’s 25th goal of the season. Ollie Watkins added another on 28 minutes to put daylight between The Bees and their visitors.
Frank made two changes to the side that drew 3-3 with Derby County last Saturday; Moses Odubajo was given the nod at right wing-back and Josh Dasilva was selected at the heart of midfield with Henrik Dalsgaard and Kamohelo Mokotjo the two to make way.
The visitors made four changes following a rare victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday; James Bree, Toto Nsiala, Trevoh Chalobah and Flynn Downes were all given starting berths at Griffin Park. Bees favourite Alan Judge – who recently extended his contract at Portman Road - started on the left of Town’s front three.
With chants of “Que será, será… We’re going to Shrewsbury,” ringing out from the away end, it was Ipswich who fashioned the first chance on 19 minutes. Having raced on to Andre Dozzell’s through ball and clear of the Bees backline, Collin Quaner lifted over Luke Daniels and on to the base of the post. Moments earlier Mads Bech Sørensen made a timely intervention to deny the Ipswich man.
That miss prove costly. Less than a minute later, Saïd Benrahma picked out Maupay in the Ipswich area who waited for ‘keeper Bartosz Bialkowski to commit himself before rolling home his 22nd league goal of the season – the first Bees player to reach that milestone in the second tier since 1935.
Having been denied by the leg of Bialkowski on 24 minutes, Watkins doubled Brentford’s lead four minutes later. Collecting the ball on the left side of the area following a quick breakaway orchestrated by Romaine Sawyers, Benrahma squared for Watkins who walked the ball into an empty net.
Maupay came close to adding to his tally with 37 minutes on the clock, connecting again with former Nice colleague Benrahma and flashing past the post from 18 yards.
Benrahma so nearly turned from provider to finisher shortly after the restart, exchanging passes with Sawyers during his advance through the final third and curling on to the crossbar. Watkins drove past the near post in the 50th minute and again seven minutes later as Brentford went in search of another.
Shortly after the hour mark, Dasilva broke up play on the edge of the Ipswich box, Maupay took a single touch and fired a snapshot across the face of goal and narrowly wide from 25 yards. That proved to be the Frenchman’s final contribution as Frank reshuffled his pack, replacing Maupay and Benrahma with Sergi Canós and Emiliano Marcondes.
Luke Daniels had been a spectator for the most part but was ready when called upon to tip Judge's cross over the bar. The former Brentford man missed a golden opportunity on 81 minutes. Rico Henry was dispossessed and the ball broke kindly to the Irishman on the edge of the box but he dragged his effort across the face of goal.
Brentford: Daniels; Konsa, Jeanvier, Sørensen; Odubajo, Dasilva, Sawyers, Henry; Watkins (Forss 87), Maupay (Marcondes 72), Benrahma (Canós 71)
Subs not used: Balcombe, Macleod, Dalsgaard, Oksanen
Bookings: Sørensen (74)
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Bree, Chambers, Nsiala, Kenlock; Downes, Chalobah (El Mizouni 80), Bishop (Nydam 66); Dozzell, Quaner (Jackson 61), Judge
Subs not used: Gerken, Knudsen, Emmanuel, Dawkins
Bookings: Nsiala (54)