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Match Report


Posted Tue 07 Dec 04 at 21:41 PM


Brentford recorded a comprehensive win over league leaders Luton at Griffin Park. Goals from Deon Burton and Ben May defeated the visitors who had Steve Howard dismissed early in the proceedings.

Martin Allen made two changes from the team that drew at Hinckley 48 hours previously. Burton returned from suspension to replace Isaiah Rankin and Jamie Lawrence made way for Jay Tabb.

The early exchanges were hard fought and both teams could have taken the lead. May shot straight at Marlon Beresford in Luton's goal after turning Chris Coyne on thirteen minutes and a minute later his goal bound header was blocked. Ex-Bees front man Rowan Vine had a weak effort for Luton and Andrew Frampton had to make a last-ditch tackle to stop Stephen O'Leary after Paul Underwood had slipped him in.

The game swung in Brentford's favour after Howard's dismissal. Referee Andy D'Urso decided he had used an elbow when challenging Michael Turner in the 19th minute and sent him off. From then on Brentford dominated the game while Luton seemed content to try and hold on for a point.

May came close to ruining their plan in the 31st minute when he drilled in a shot after good work by Stewart Talbot but it was tipped over the bar. Chris Hargreaves and Frampton also had efforts off target before Brentford took a 41st minute lead.

A long clearance by Stuart Nelson caused all sorts of problems in Luton's defence; Burton picked up the bouncing ball, skipped around his man and beat Beresford with a left footed shot for his fifth goal of the season.

The Bees visibly grew in confidence after the goal and in the second half Luton were lucky not to be on the end of a much heavier defeat as the woodwork and Beresford combined to keep the score down.

Deon Burton

Brentford's second goal arrived in the 63rd minute. Tabb's reverse pass allowed Kevin O'Connor to get to the by-line and his driven cross was touched home by May. O'Connor had himself come close from a direct free-kick and Burton had a goal ruled out after he controlled the ball with his arm.

Talbot came within inches of scoring a fantastic goal in the 56th minute. Frampton started the move on the edge of Brentford's area, his cross field pass set Tabb racing forward and his through ball allowed Talbot to unleash a fierce drive which cannoned off the post.

For the next twenty minutes Brentford seemed determined to go forward at every opportunity and Beresford made save after save to deny them. He saved a May shot with his legs on 65 minutes, and produced an even better one to deny O'Connor on 72 minutes. The Bees right-back exchanged passes with Burton and let fly with a left footed shot, it looked destined for the top corner but the Luton custodian turned it past the post. He then denied John Salako two minutes later after Tabb had chipped an inch perfect cross onto his head.

Luton failed to create any clear cut chances and looked anything but the team that had dominated the division for the first four months of the season, but in truth Brentford didn't allow them to.

Brentford: Nelson; O'Connor, Turner, Sodje, Frampton; Tabb, Talbot, Hargreaves (sub Rankin 74 mins), Salako (sub Rhodes 89 mins); Burton (sub Harrold 86 mins), May.

Subs (not used): Myers, Julian.

Attendance 6,393.

Match report by Chris Wickham.

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