A late goal from Alex Rhodes was not enough to prevent Brentford slipping to their second home defeat of the season, Bradford City winning by two goals to one at Griffin Park
Brentford stuck with the same side that drew at Bristol City last week but were stung very early in the proceedings as Zema Abbey marked his Bantams debut with a goal inside on three minutes. Steven Schumacher accelerated through Brentford's midfield and slipped the ball through to Abbey who shot left footed past Stuart Nelson. Abbey was later to blot his copybook in spectacular fashion as he was sent off, along with Brentford striker Deon Burton, in the 24th minute. Chris Hargreaves strongly tackled Abbey and the Bradford forward squared up to the Bees midfielder, while Burton also got involved. Abbey appeared to throw a punch and Burton also appeared to put his hands up into Abbey's face. Referee Graham sent both men off.
Before the dismissals Bradford had been on top. Schumacher forced Nelson into a save low down and Nicky Summerbee failed to convert at the far post as a Dean Windass cross found him unmarked. Brentford's best moments of the first half came after the double sending off. Isaiah Rankin hit the inside of the post after muscling his way past Bradford's defence; Jay Tabb put the rebound wide. Rankin had shot wide very early on and also put a volley over later in the half. John Salako also tested Paul Henderson with an effort from Andy Frampton's cross.
In the second period Brentford threw everything they had at Bradford. Tabb had a shot saved at the near post in the opening minutes of the half, and Hargreaves forced Henderson into another low save. The Bradford custodian made a great save from the hard working Rankin in the 61st minute. The ball dropped to him inside the area and he shot low, but Henderson flung himself to his right and diverted the ball for a corner.
Brentford thought they'd won a penalty when Sam Sodje, thrown forward by Martin Allen, was felled inside the area on 65 minutes, but instead the Bees defender was booked. Bradford thought they had won one when Kevin O'Connor
brought down Ben Muirhead on the edge of the area but only a free kick was given.
Brentford poured forward but were hit with a sucker punch in the 78th minute. Bradford substitute Danny Forest danced clear on the left, he cut inside, drew Nelson and knocked the ball past him into the far corner. Windass had earlier had an effort cleared off the line by Turner but in general Bradford offered very little in the second period.
Still The Bees went for it and Matt Harrold thought he'd reduced the arrears when he dived to head a cross from fellow substitute Rhodes, but somehow Mark Bower got between Harrold and the goal to block the ball. Andy Frampton hit the post with a cross that dropped beyond Henderson.
Brentford's goal came in the 90th minute as a result of great work on the right by Rankin. His cross wasn't properly cleared and Rhodes drilled the ball low and hard into the far corner. Despite the four minutes of stoppage time that followed Brentford couldn't force an equaliser.
Brentford: Nelson; O'Connor, Turner, Sodje, Frampton; Tabb (sub Rhodes 62 mins), Talbot, Hargreaves (sub Lawrence 80 mins), Salako (sub Harrold 76 mins); Burton, Rankin.
Subs (not used): Myers, Julian.Match report by Chris Wickham.