Brentford sealed their third win in four Coca-Cola League One games with a 2-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers at Griffin Park. A goal in each half from Jay Tabb and Eddie Hutchinson was enough for The Bees against a visiting team who seemed below par.
Brentford made one change to the team that were defeated at Port Vale on Monday, with Tabb returning from international duty and taking his place on the left side of midfield. Dudley Campbell was the man to make way, with Isaiah Rankin partnering Lloyd Owusu up front and Paul Brooker starting on the right side of midfield.
The game started with the sun shining and both teams trying to keep the ball and create chances. The first ten minutes saw little goalmouth action with a Chris Greenacre volley from the visitors, which was well off target, the only effort on goal. Greenacre then had a good chance to give Tranmere the lead in the 15th minute, Gareth Roberts' cross flicked off the head of Hutchinson and fell to Greenacre at the far post but he diverted it wide on the stretch.
After the visitors' chances Brentford began to impose themselves and dominated the middle period of the first half. Brooker had a great chance to give the home side the lead when a Tabb corner was half cleared but he fired wide from twelve yards. Brooker then had a header saved by John Achterberg in the visitors gaol after good work on the right by Owusu.
Brentford took the lead in the 23rd minute with a goal they fully deserved. Brooker broke clear on the right hand side and cut inside, his chipped through ball was perfect for the run of Tabb and he diverted the ball past Achterberg, who was completely wrong footed by Tabb's delicate touch.
Brentford had the opportunities to extend their lead before the break; firstly when Rankin swivelled and volleyed over the bar. He had an even better chance ten minutes before the interval. He won the ball well from Roberts and set off towards goal, Brentford had men streaming forward in support and only Ian Goodison was back for Tranmere but Rankin couldn't quite pick the right pass and Tranmere cleared.
After a good first half performance Brentford probably deserved to be more than just 1-0 ahead, but this was quickly forgotten as they extended their lead within five minutes of the re-start. Kevin O'Connor took a quick throw in and got the ball back from Brooker, He cut inside and curled an inviting cross towards the near post when Hutchinson arrived late and climbed highest to head into the bottom corner, giving Achterberg no chance.
Brooker fired over the bar from fifteen yards minutes later but the game became slightly scrappy after Brentford's second with Tranmere lacking ideas and unable to create any clear-cut chances, although Greenacre did get a weak header on target which was easy for Stuart Nelson. At the other end Rankin's lofted through ball to Brooker resulted in a cross which Owusu fired powerfully straight at Achterberg.
Brentford continued dominate possession without creating too many clear cut chances. Rankin fired a shot just over from twelve yards while at the other end Alex Bruce fired high and wide.
Brentford: Nelson; O'Connor, Sodje, Turner, Frampton; Brooker (sub Keenan 79 mins), Dobson, Hutchinson, Tabb (sub Fitzgerald 64 mins); Owusu, Rankin (sub Campbell 83 mins)
Subs (not used): Gayle, Bankole
Written by Chris Wickham