Swindon Town inflicted Brentford's second defeat of the Christmas period as they won 3-0 at the County Ground. Goals from Matt Hewlett, Brian Howard and Sam Parkin meant Brentford had nothing to show from their trip down the M4.
Brentford made three changes from the team defeated by Torquay on Boxing Day. Kevin O'Connor, Alex Rhodes and John Salako dropped out, although Rhodes and Salako were on the bench. Isaiah Rankin, Jay Tabb and Chris Hargreaves started for The Bees.
Brentford made a positive start and could have been ahead after only four minutes. Jay Tabb swung in a great corner and Sam Sodje headed inches over, coming very close to his second goal of the holiday period. Deon Burton also had a good effort, which flew narrowly wide.
The first half was an even contest, both teams looked to attack, and Brentford caused problems with long throws and corners but couldn't create a clear cut chance. Rankin with a shot deflected over was the closest Brentford came after Sodje's chance.
Swindon had the best chance of the first half in the 27th minute. They broke quickly after a Brentford corner, Howard releasing David Duke in behind the defence. Duke was harried by Jamie Lawrence and took too long to get a shot away, which was dragged wide of Stuart Nelson's right hand post.
Swindon took the lead in the 43rd minute with the game's first shot on target. Captain Hewlett lined up a twenty five yard shot; Nelson dived away to his left and got hands on it but couldn't keep it out.
Brentford almost got themselves level early in the second half. Lawrence chipped a beautiful pass in behind the Swindon defence; Steve Claridge knocked the ball past goalkeeper Rhys Evans but a defender got in before Burton to clear the danger.
Swindon extended their lead in the 66th minute. A quick throw in caught Brentford out and Sammy Igoe swung a cross to the far post where Howard rose and looped a header over Nelson and into the far corner.
Things got even worse eleven minutes later when Howard's cross was knocked home at the far post by Parkin to give Swindon an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Brentford refused to give up and tried to get themselves a goal. Alex Rhodes fired a shot over the bar from the edge of the box, and Deon Burton came within a whisker of reducing the deficit, latching onto a Ben May flick and hitting a powerful shot just wide but Brentford left empty handed.
Brentford: Nelson; Lawrence, Turner, Sodje, Frampton; Rankin, Talbot (sub Rhodes 56 mins), Hargreaves, Tabb; Claridge (sub May 68 mins), Burton.
Subs (not used): Salako, Myers, Julian
Written by Chris Wickham