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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 25 Sep 04 at 20:40 PM

WALSALL 0 BRENTFORD 1

Brentford secure their first away win of the season with a deserved victory over Walsall - John Salako again scoring from the penalty spot.

Martin Allen made only one change from last week's win over Port Vale, dropping Stephen Hunt to the bench, promoting Jay Tabb to the starting line-up. Before the match, both sides took part in an impeccable minute's silence for footballing legend Brian Clough.

Brentford, as in the majority of games on their travels so far this season, started strongly. Their first serious attack came in the tenth minute. Kevin O'Connor whipped in a right-wing cross that Saddlers goalkeeper Mark Paston struggled to cope with, eventually punching the ball onto his own crossbar, Ian Roper eventually clearing to safety.

The game burst to life on the half hour mark with Brentford taking the lead after a huge slice of controversy. With Brentford on the attack, assistant-referee M. Harris appeared to raise his flag for an infringement with Deon Burton in possession. As play continued, Isaiah Rankin controlled the Jamaican's left-wing cross but was then fouled in the penalty area by Darren Wrack. With referee Miller seemingly unaware of the flag, which by now had been lowered, he awarded a penalty kick to Brentford.

Furious protests by Walsall players led to a consultation with his assistant but the decision to award a spot-kick was unaltered, John Salako sending Pastor the wrong way for the game's opening goal.

Five minutes into the second half and Brentford could have Tabb intercepted a stray pass to give Rankin an opportunity; his shot just a few inches wide of Pastor's right-hand post. The home side should have levelled a minute later - Kevin O'Connor clearing the final header off the line.

John Salako's ferocious left-footed drive in the 70th minute looked pound for pound a goal but Paston managed to tip the ball onto the bar. Brentford captured their first away win of the season despite Jorge Leitao's injury-time shot - well saved by Nelson, who survived a penalty appeal when the striker went down as the Bees goalkeeper tried to retrieve the ball.

Attendance: 5,302.

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