Brentford ended their run of three games without a victory with a 2-1 defeat of Rotherham United at GriffinPark. Isaiah Rankin was The Bees' match winner, his fourth goal of the season in the 37th minute completing a Brentford comeback after they had trailed to an 8th minute Deon Burton goal.
Brentford made a solitary change to the team which drew at Walsall on Tuesday with Kevin O'Connor returning at right back, replacing Sam Tillen. Eddie Hutchinson was also restored to the match day squad, replacing Ryan Peters on the substitute's bench.
The game opened at a frantic pace and Martin Butler called Stuart Nelson into action inside the opening minute with a header from a Paul McLaren free kick, at the other end Lloyd Owusu forced Gary Montgomery to save his header from a Jay Tabb corner. The action continued apace and Burton missed the target with a spectacular scissor kick after a long throw from Shaun Barker dropped to him at the far post, but Burton made no mistake three minutes later.
A long hopeful ball forward from Barker dropped on the edge of the home penalty area, Burton out jumped Sam Sodje and Nelson who both went for the high ball and his header rolled into the empty goal. But Rotherham wasted that advantage by handing Brentford an equaliser in the 11th minute.
David Worrell badly under hit a back pass and Owusu seized on it, he rounded Montgomery and was brought crashing down by the Millers' goalkeeper. Referee Barry Knight awarded a penalty and O'Connor made no mistake, sending Montgomery the wrong way from the spot.
That only served to increase the tempo and Brentford could have got their noses in front four minutes later when a long throw from Andrew Frampton dropped to Darren Pratley on the edge of the box, his shot was blocked and as the ball dropped to Rankin, Colin Murdock threw his body in the way to preserve the equilibrium. Sodje then headed over the bar after Montgomery failed to deal with Pratley's cross from Paul Brooker's short corner.
The end to end action continued with neither team giving anything away in the challenge as the ball was worked from end to end. Despite the high pace of the game there were no clear cut chances until just past the half hour mark when Rankin, Owusu and Tabb combined to release Frampton, who was breaking forward. His near post effort forced Montgomery into a low save and from the resulting corner Owusu headed over.
Brentford gained the initiative in the rollercoaster game and undoubtedly deserved their second goal. Tabb combined with Rankin to release Brooker; he skipped past the challenge of Murdock and pulled the ball back to Rankin who shot past Montgomery and into the far corner.
The chances continued to come for the home side, Michael Turner headed off target from a Tabb corner and good work from Owusu set up Rankin for a shot from 20 yards which stung the palms of Montgomery. Owusu was again the creator in first half stoppage time when he slipped a ball through to Frampton but Montgomery again denied Brentford, saving at his near post.
The second half had a lot to live up to and despite the game continuing to flow from end to end there was a lack of clear-cut chances. Rankin had a shot deflected wide just before the hour mark and from the resulting corner Turner headed over the bar. Brentford almost presented Rotherham with an equaliser in the 61st minute. Butler read O'Connor's back pass and latched onto it, Sodje got back to stop him shooting but the ball dropped to Michael Keane, who had only Nelson to beat but couldn't do so as the Bees' keeper produced a top notch save.
Brentford could have extended their lead two minutes later when Frampton fed Owusu, who, in turn, slipped the ball through to Tabb; he raced clear and swung a cross to the far post where Brooker was waiting. He seemed set to finish the flowing move with a third goal but Montgomery saved low to his left. At the other end John Mullin shot over the bar.
Rotherham brought young striker Will Hoskins into the game in an attempt to rescue a point but the chances came mainly at the other end. Pratley shot wide, Sodje headed a Tabb corner over and Owusu headed a Frampton cross over the bar. In the last ten minutes the visitors could have grabbed an equaliser when Hoskins raced onto Gregory Robertson's ball but he screwed his shot across the face of goal.
Brentford: Nelson; O'Connor, Sodje, Turner, Frampton; Brooker (sub Rhodes 68 mins), Pratley, Lewis, Tabb; Owusu, Rankin
Subs (not used): Gayle, Hutchinson, Campbell, Bankole
Written by Chris Wickham