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Match Report


Posted Sat 29 Sep 07 at 19:01 PM


An Anthony Elding hat-trick, which included two first half penalties, handed Brentford a home defeat as Stockport County triumphed 3-1 at Griffin Park.

The County striker coolly beat Simon Brown after his strike partner Matt McNeil had twice earned spot kicks and the pacey forward raced clear to latch onto a McNeil flick and score a third after the break.

Alan Connell's second Brentford goal gave the hosts a sniff of a comeback with ten minutes remaining but County held on to take all three points.

McNeill was Brentford's main nemesis and the powerful striker gave notice of his threat inside the fist 35 seconds when his nod down found his strike partner but although Elding slipped the ball past Brown, it went past the post.

And when McNeill controlled a Paul Tierney free kick after six minutes and turned John Mackie the Brentford skipper was adjudged to have fouled his opponent and referee Friend pointed to the spot.

Elding sent Brown the wrong from twelve yards to give Stockport an early advantage.

Connell had already gone close for Brentford with a curling effort after a Lee Thorpe lay off, which flew narrowly over the bar, and Brentford had a golden chance to pull level within ten minutes.

Nice interplay by Ben Starosta and Ricky Shakes gave the former a crossing opportunity, Thorpe headed back and Conrad Logan produced a fine save to deny Glenn Poole an equaliser.

Poole fired a free kick over soon after but Stockport were causing real problems with balls into the Brentford box, Dominic Blizzard sent an overhead wide after Adam Griffin's knock down and Elding brought a save from Brown moments later.

The game threatened to erupt just past the half hour when Mackie went into the book and Stockport manager Jim Gannon was sent to the stands for continual abuse of the fourth official but the visitors were not affected.

Brown saved well from Gareth Owen and Adam Proudlock but could do nothing about Elding' second penalty after Darius Charles was adjudged to have shoved McNeil.

Brentford had created chances, Mackie was an inch away from diverting a Poole free kick past Logan and the County keeper had to be alert to block a Connell effort at the near post after a fine turn, but they still went to break two down.

Bees boss Terry Butcher shuffled his pack at the break, replacing Mackie, who had received a final warning from Mr Friend, with Craig Pead and moving Thorpe into defence and Kevin O'Connor into attack.

And the hosts improved their attacking play, Logan saved well from Sammy Moore after O'Connor fed the Bees' playmaker and Ashley Williams blocked another Connell effort, but McNeil could not be stopped.

His flick sent Elding clear just past the hour and he made no mistake, slotting past Brown to effectively seal the points.

Proudlock went close for the visitors and Blizzard brought a save from Brown but Brentford refused to let their heads drop.

Substitute Charlie Ide had a goal ruled out as he slid home a miss hit volley from Thorpe, now pushed back into attack, and The Bees grabbed a lifeline minutes later.

O'Connor nodded a long ball into the path of Thorpe who fed Connell and he slotted the ball past Logan.

The goal caused nerves in the visitors' defence, Pead had an effort deflected wide, Connell turned a Poole cut back wide and the same player flicked a header narrowly over the bar.

But The Bees couldn't get a second goal, although Ide did force a late save from Logan, and Stockport took the points back to Cheshire.

Brentford: Brown; Starosta, Mackie (sub Pead h/t), Pettigrew, Charles (sub Osborne 73 mins); Shakes (sub Ide 60 mins), Moore, O'Connor, Poole; Thorpe, Connell

Subs (not used): Hamer, Mousinho

Bookings: Mackie (27 mins) (second of season), Pettigrew (43 mins) (second of season), Connell (45 mins)

Stockport County: Logan; Smith, Williams, Owen, Tierney; Proudlock (sub Briggs 63 mins), Taylor, Blizzard, Griffin (sub Rowe 78 mins); McNeil, Elding

Subs (not used): Jones, Dicker, Tansey

Bookings: Taylor (18 mins), Williams (45 mins)

Attendance: 4,449

Written by Chris Wickham

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