Quaner so close to opener but Bees impress
Town’s stay in the Championship is almost over after an impressive Brentford took the points at Griffin Park.
Collin Quaner was a coat of paint away from giving Blues the lead when he burst clear and hit the post on 20 minutes but seconds later the Bees were ahead through the excellent Neal Maupay.
Ollie Watkins doubled the lead soon after and Brentford dictated the game from then on.
Blues pressed late on for a lifeline and Alan Judge almost provided it with a snap shot but his effort was just wide as time begins to run out for Blues.
Flynn Downes returned to the Town side in one of four changes to the team that beat Bolton on Saturday, with Judge given a warm ovation from the home fans on his return to Griffin Park.
Brentford showed their intent from kick-off, Said Benrahma’s darting run winning an early free-kick, the same player trying his luck from distance but his speculative effort hit a blue wall, James Bree doing well to cut out the danger supplied by Benrahma again.
Maupay almost found Watkins with a slick pass as Brentford looked for an early opener, Bree responding for Town with a quick delivery into Judge that just escaped the Republic of Ireland international.
Teddy Bishop burst into the danger area but couldn’t find Quaner in the box then Andre Dozzell sent Quaner through on goal, the striker’s touch beating Luke Daniels but with the Blue Army celebrating, the ball cannoned back off the post.
A minute later Brentford were ahead, Maupay finishing superbly after a flowing move. Benrahma was denied again as the Bees threatened an immediate second and it needed the feet of Bart Bialkowski to prevent Watkins doing that after the home side had opened up the Town rearguard.
Brentford did make it two on 28 minutes, the unfortunate Downes slipped and the Bees took full advantage, Watkins left with an empty net after more slick play led by Maupay.
Dozzell tested Daniels with a curler but from the counter a third goal looked on the cards through first Maupay and then Watkins but Luke Chambers held firm, Maupay then dragged his shot wide after neat interplay around the Town box as Brentford kept the heat up on the away goal to the half-time whistle.
Benrahma hit the woodwork after cutting through the Town defence, Watkins fired wide as Brentford maintained the frenetic pace of the first-half, Josh Dasilva smashing a 20 yarder over.
Watkins continued the pressure on the Town goal with a drive wide, Judge responding with an effort over the bar from a tight angle before Town made a change with Kayden Jackson on for Quaner.
Maupay spun and bulleted a left footer wide out of nothing, Teddy Bishop making way for Tristan Nydam in the substitute’s first appearance under Paul Lambert while Brentford made a double change with Benrahma and the outstanding Maupay replaced by Sergi Canos and Emiliano Marcondes.
Daniels was forced into a flurry of activity, beating out Dozzell’s free-kick and then tipping over from Judge’s in-swinger, Idris El Mizouni entering the fray for the closing stages to replace Trevoh Chalobah.
Judge had the chance to grab a lifeline but pulled his shot just wide with Canos denied a third for Brentford in added on time.
Brentford: Daniels, Odubajo, Henry, Maupay (Marcondes 71), Watkins (Forss 87), Dasilva, Sawyers, Benrahma (Canos 71), Jeanvier, Konsa, Sorensen. Subs not used: Balcombe, Macleod, Dalsgaard, Oksanen.
Town: Bialkowski, Bree, Chambers, Nsiala, Kenlock, Chalobah (El Mizouni 78), Bishop (Nydam 64), Downes, Dozzell, Judge, Quaner (Jackson 60). Subs not used: Gerken, Emmanuel, Dawkins, Knudsen. Booked: Nsiala.