Brentford's season came to a disappointing end as a 2-0 defeat in the second leg of the Coca-Cola League One play-off semi-finals consigned them to another season in League One. A Leon Knight double inside the first 15 minutes was enough for Swansea City to progress to the final 3-1 on aggregate.
The Bees were able to welcome back Sam Sodje to the starting line-up after missing the first leg of the tie through suspension, he replaced Sam Tillen while Andrew Frampton reverted to left back. Unfortunately they were hit by the loss of Marcus Gayle and Alex Rhodes was brought in to replace him.
Brentford flew out of the blocks and within 30 seconds Jay Tabb had created an opening for Jamie Smith, but his shot was weak. The visitor's started on the back foot but with their first real attack, in the eighth minute, they took the lead. A free kick was pumped forward and Knight reacted quickest to a Rory Fallon flick to lob the ball over Stuart Nelson and into the net.
The early goal only heightened the fervour around the game, tackles were flying in and Andy Robinson was very lucky to escape censure on two occasions before his third foul brought a booking from referee Graham Laws. Brentford were continuing to push forward but were hit with a killer second goal in the 15th minute. Leon Britton dispossessed Andrew Frampton and lofted a ball forward; Knight raced onto it and lashed an unstoppable shot past the despairing dive of Nelson.
Brentford knew they needed a goal back quickly; Tabb shot straight at Willy Gueret in the visitors' goal after nice work by Rhodes and Isaiah Rankin while Fallon pulled a shot wide at the other end and headed over soon after.
Brentford made a 23rd minute substitution with Calum Willock replacing Ricky Newman, meaning a change in formation to 4-3-3 for The Bees. Frampton headed a Smith cross over and Rhodes fired straight at Gueret but Swansea were generally comfortable in defence.
At half time Martin Allen introduced Tillen and Paul Brooker as he tried to find a way to break down the Swansea defence. Kevin O'Connor forced a fine save from Gueret with a 25 yard free kick which seemed destined for the top corner and Nelson saved from another Fallon header.
The Bees were now well on top and pressing the visitors back, Willock nodded fractionally wide from a fantastic Brooker cross and Rankin had a weak shot saved after he latched onto a Darren Pratley pass. Swansea could have added a third on the break when Fallon controlled an Owain Tudur Jones free kick, swivelled and volleyed inches over. Tom Williams could have done likewise when he floated a shot over Nelson and over the bar from a Britton cross.
Brentford continued to give their all, even pushing Sodje forward as an emergency striker but despite a Rankin shot which Gueret saved well they could not find an opening and Swansea progressed to the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on May 27.
Brentford: Nelson; O'Connor, Turner, Sodje, Frampton (sub Tillen h/t); Smith (sub Brooker h/t), Pratley, Newman (sub Willock 23 mins), Tabb; Rankin, Rhodes
Subs (not used): Bankole, Hutchinson
Written by Chris Wickham