Brentford extended their unbeaten run to six games and picked up a vital three points with a 3-1 win at The County Ground against Swindon Town. The Bees took a 2-0 first half lead and were strong enough to beat off a Swindon fight back after the break. Calum Willock sealed the win with his first Bees goal with 15 minutes remaining.
The Bees were able to welcome back Kevin O'Connor after a lengthy spell on the sidelines but were hit by the loss of Andrew Frampton and Isaiah Rankin. Brentford made four changes in total with Junior Lewis and Alex Rhodes dropped to the substitute's bench. Marcus Gayle, Darren Pratley and Paul Brooker also returned to the starting line-up.
The home side, who needed a win to help their battle to avoid relegation, started brightly and Stuart Nelson saved well when Chris McPhee met a Ricky Shakes cross but Brentford were soon in command. Lloyd Owusu lobbed narrowly wide after a Gayle nod down and Andy Nicholas blocked another Owusu effort early on.
Jay Tabb could have put the visitors ahead just before the quarter hour but he couldn't stretch far enough to turn Owusu's flick from a Brooker corner home, he then fired wide moments later.
The Bees continued to hold the upper hand and took the lead in the 27th minute with, arguably, the goal of the season so far. Brooker picked up a loose Nicholas pass twenty yards from his own goal and set off on a mazy run, he left defenders in his wake as he raced towards goal, no Swindon defender was able to tackle him and after a 70 yard run he slotted the ball under Rhys Evans.
Ricky Shakes could have brought Swindon level immediately but volleyed over from a Nicholas long throw. That miss proved crucial when Brentford doubled their lead in the 39th minute. Gayle refused to give up a long ball forward as Andy Gurney dithered, he out muscled the Robins' defender and lashed the ball home.
Swindon came out after the break and threw everything forward. They had two penalty appeals early on in the second period, when Michael Turner was deemed to have accidentally handled while on the ground and when Jamie Cureton took a tumble over Nelson but referee Wright gave nothing.
The home side should have got a goal back in the 64th minute when Sean O'Hanlon crossed from the right and Shakes met it on the volley, Nelson saved well but the ball dropped to Cureton who shot over when it was easier to score. Swindon did pull one back with twenty minutes remaining when substitute Aaron Brown's quick free-kick cannoned off the post and into the net.
Brentford restored their two goal lead within five minutes after more hesitancy in the home defence. Nicholas dithered as a long ball was played forward and Willock, who replaced Owusu minutes earlier, beat him to it, lofted it over Evans and into the far corner.
Swindon defender Andy Gurney almost gave The Bees a third goal when his attempted back pass forced Evans to tip over his own crossbar at full stretch. Tabb could have put his name on the score sheet at the death when he raced away on the break, played a one-two with Gayle and forced Evans to turn it behind. He then blasted a shot over moments later. Sam Tillen came within a whisker of adding a fourth with the last kick of the game, he slalomed through the home defence but shot into the side netting.
Brentford: Nelson; O'Connor, Turner, Sodje, Frampton; Brooker (sub Rhodes 82 mins), Newman, Pratley, Tabb; Gayle, Owusu (sub Willock 68 mins)
Subs (not used): Lewis, Smith, Bankole
The Travelling Bees Fans
Written by Chris Wickham