Brentford clinched their third away win in a row with a comprehensive 3-1 win over Scunthorpe at Glanford Park. Darren Pratley scored two first half goals after Scunthorpe had taken an early lead and The Bees added a third in a second half where the home side were barely in contention.
Brentford kept the same line-up which started against Oldham Athletic at Griffin Park last week although there were changes among the substitutes. Junior Lewis and Isaiah Rankin returned from injury and replaced Ryan Peters and Scott P. Fitzgerald, who has joined Oxford United on loan, on the bench.
The game lacked early cohesion with a lot of aerial challenges and little flowing football, an early shot from Andy Keogh barely troubled Stuart Nelson in the Brentford goal but the home side took an eighth minute lead from the game's first corner. Ritchie Ryan floated it in, Keogh flicked it on, and Jim Goodwin powered a header home from close range.
That lead lasted only three minutes as Brentford scored with their first half chance. A Paul Brooker free kick was only half cleared by the home defence; it dropped to Pratley who rifled it home on the volley from 25 yards. Scunthorpe looked to respond and Goodwin almost scored his second of the game with a shot from 20 yards, which Nelson gathered.
Instead it was Pratley who got his second of the game in the 24th minute at the other end and in very similar circumstances to his first. This time the free kick was taken by Jay Tabb, Paul Musselwhite punched it clear, but only to Pratley on the edge of the box who volleyed it back past him to give Brentford the lead.
The visitors grew in confidence and although there were few clear cut chances Brentford had the better of the possession and seemed comfortable in defence. They could even have extended their lead in first half stoppage time when Tabb put Lloyd Owusu through, he created a yard for a shot but it went high over the bar.
Brentford came out and dominated the second half, Owusu created a golden chance for Tabb when he lofted a cross to the far post, Tabb dived in to head home but Musselwhite denied him with a fine low save. The chances continued to come for Brentford, a Tabb corner wasn't cleared by the home defence and Brooker blazed over the bar from six yards out.
However the Brentford winger made no mistake in the 52nd minute when he put Brentford 3-1 ahead. The visitors broke quickly following a Scunthorpe free kick with Owusu, Tabb and Pratley flying forward. They worked a shooting opportunity for Brooker who drilled it through the legs of Owusu into the far corner.
The visitors were by now in complete control and had more chances to extend their lead, Tabb put Owusu clear only for Musselwhite to deny him, from the resulting corner Owusu headed over. Cliff Byrne fired wide at the other end before Dudley Campbell forced Musselwhite into another good save after Ricky Newman and Eddie Hutchinson created an opening for him.
Scunthorpe's day got worse with ten minutes to go when their goal scorer Goodwin picked up his second booking, three minutes after his first. Brooker could have added his second of the afternoon with five minutes remaining when he broke clear, but his shot went over the bar.
The Bees attempted to underline their continued domination with more goals, Sam Sodje tried to beat Musselwhite from the half way line but his effort bounced just over the bar, Hutchinson then headed a Sam Tillen corner narrowly wide. Hutchinson came close again when he went through, but a good tackle from Andy Butler denied him a shooting opportunity. Tillen then shot wide after a fabulous series of one and two touch passes as Brentford had to settle for three.
Brentford: Nelson; O'Connor, Turner, Sodje, Frampton (sub Tillen 73 mins); Brooker, Newman, Pratley (sub Hutchinson 73 mins), Tabb; Owusu, Campbell (sub Rankin 83 mins)
Subs (not used): Lewis, Bankole
Attendance: 4,322 (272 Bees fans)
Written by Chris Wickham