Penalty decider as Blues lose skipper to injury at Griffin Park
Neal Maupay’s penalty 20 minutes from time gave Brentford the points at Griffin Park.
The striker converted from the spot after Jonas Knudsen was judged to have pushed Sergi Canos as he looked to get in on goal..
Grant Ward was denied a late equaliser by an excellent save from Daniel Bentley, who also kept out a Martyn Waghorn effort.
Cameron Carter-Vickers returned to the side as Mick McCarthy opted for the three central defenders formation used on Town’s travels, the Tottenham loanee immediately making his mark with a timely challenge on Maupay.
Bart Bialkowski carried on where he left off against Millwall last week, the Town ‘keeper doing brilliantly to divert Yoann Barbet’s deflected shot behind for a corner.
Alan Judge’s slick pass had too much on it for Maupay, then at the other end Town threatened for the first time but Waghorn was judged to have been offside as he tried to convert from close range.
Jordan Spence dealt with Judge’s delivery, Bialkowski quick off his line to clear from a long ball, with Luke Chambers taking a clattering in the process that saw the skipper receive lengthy treatment before being led off with what looked like a rib injury, Myles Kenlock the replacement.
Carter-Vickers cleared from Barbet’s dangerous cross, Luke Hyam toe-poking the ball away from the corner, then Callum Connolly sent a left foot curler over the bar from 25 yards.
Romaine Sawyers found space on the edge of the box but pulled his shot wide as Brentford searched for the goal that would keep their Play-Off hopes intact, Hyam in the right place to clear from Maupay’s cross.
Bialkowski held firm from Barbet’s driven cross at the nearpost, Waghorn released Freddie Sears on the break but his cross was cleared by Chris Mepham, then Kenlock ripped a shot just over from the angle.
Connolly did well to block Maupay’s shot from close range, the Everton loanee then putting the ball in the net at the other end with a clever backheel but the offside flag beat him.
Bentley saved from Waghorn’s header at the back post, Bialkowski getting down well to hold on from Ollie Watkins’ shot as the first-half came to an end with clear cut chances at a premium.
Connolly and Josh McEachran picked up bookings at the start of the second-half for a pushing and shoving match, Tristan Nydam trying to release Waghorn down the left channel but Bentley was alert to the danger.
Spence found Kenlock with an excellent pass but his header across goal was cleared by John Egan, Hyam doing brilliantly to rob Watkins on the edge of the Town box as he looked to shoot.
Brentford made a double change midway through the second-half with Canos and Nico Yennaris entering the fray, Watkins’ shot deflected over, then Bentley coming to the Bees’ rescue to deny Waghorn after a Town counter.
Brentford went ahead on 71 minutes out of nothing, a long ball into the box was chased down by Canos and he went down under a challenge from Knudsen. Referee Robert Jones pointed to the spot and Maupay did the rest.
Ward and Bersant Celina joined the action as Town shuffled the pack, Ward almost getting on the end of a long ball immediately but Egan did enough to quell the threat.
Carter-Vickers cleared twice in quick succession from eight yards out as Canos got around the back, then Bentley did brilliantly to keep out Ward’s shot after he got on the end of Celina’s cross.
Maupay was inches away from securing the points for the Bees but he was to prove to be the matchwinner, despite Town camping around the home goal in added on time.
Brentford: Bentley, Maupay, McEachran (Marcondes 72), Watkins, Mokotjo (Yennaris 65), Egan, Judge (Canos 65), Sawyers, Dalsgaard, Barbet, Mepham. Subs not used: Daniels, Macleod, Bjelland, Clarke. Booked: McEachran, Canos.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (Kenlock 27, Celina 75), Carter-Vickers, Webster, Knudsen, Connolly, Hyam, Nydam (Ward 72), Waghorn, Sears. Subs not used: Crowe, Gleeson, Carayol, Folami. Booked: Carter-Vickers, Connolly.