Brentford completed a run of three&nbsp;away games in a week in the same fashion that it had begun, with defeat. Brentford were beaten comprehensively by an attacking Darlington side.
With conditions in the north-east less than ideal, the game was slow to get going with both teams adjusting to the swirling wind that was encaptured within the new 25,000 all-seater stadium.
The first chance of note broke in favour of the Bees on four minutes as Wayne Brown darted in from the left, only to see his shot well dealt with and blocked by the strong Darlington defence. In the ninth minute Brentford continued their pressure as Glenn Poole won a free kick on the edge of the Darlington area. With Poole, Ryan Dickson and Robert Milsom all hovering over the ball, it was Dickson that took it, seeing his effort go sailing over the crossbar.
Immediately after Darlington produced their first effort of note as Kevin Gall ran down the left wing before cutting in and producing a tame shot which was easily gathered by Ben Hamer.
In the 18th minute Brentford had the ball in the Darlington goal as Alan Connell fired home from an acute angle past David Stockdale, only too see his effort ruled out for offside. Brentford continued to pile on the pressure as Elder headed comfortably into Stockdale's hands. It was an Elder header in the 35th minute, following a decent build-up involving Milsom and Dickson, that was to force the keeper into making a good save from under his crossbar.
Brentford's best opportunity of the first half came in the 42nd minute as Connell ran through free on goal following a beautifully weighted through ball. His shot was well smothered by Stockdale, and the rebound fell to Poole who paused as he tried to tee the ball up, and as a result his shot was closed down and Darlington cleared their lines. The Bees completed a good opening period in the 44th minute as Elder saw his header from a Milsom free-kick once again saved by the Darlo keeper.
Brentford has finished the first half looking much the better side, however this was not to transpire into the second half as Dave Penney's men came out all guns blazing. The threat of Ndumbu-Nsungu and Joachim was always going to cause problems for the Bees defence and it was Ndumbu-Nsungu who claimed the first for Darlington.
A long ball into the area was missed by both Craig Pead and Karleigh Osborne leaving the striker to head into the net over Hamer. The Bees failed to cause any problems&nbsp;as they had at the end of the first period, and it wasn't until Connell's shot in the 52nd minute that the Darlington defence was tested. Brentford began to find their feet again with Connell nodding down for Poole to shoot straight at&nbsp;Stockdale in the 54th minute.
Darlington were however to cause a blow to any potential Brentford revival in the 58th minute. A simply great bit of football from Darlington presented the prolific Julian Joachim the opportunity to score a wonderful goal. Using his pace he shrugged off the defence to score with the outside of his right boot into the top corner leaving the diving Hamer with no chance.
With Brentford trailing 2-0 subtitutions were on the horizon for both teams with Abbott replacing Ndumbu-Nsungu for Darlington and the Bees replacing Elder and&nbsp; Brown with Ricky Shakes Shakes and Reuben&nbsp;Reid. On 69 minutes Darlington should have made it 3-0 with a goalmouth scramble that Hamer did well to smother. Darlington then made their second substitution by replacing the impressive Gall with Blundell, and the Bees replaced Milsom with Mousinho.
Darlington were to continue their dominance as a shot by Cummins came off the post after a good run by Blundell.&nbsp; The Bees persisted and got a goal in the 81st minute as a&nbsp;Connell shot found it's way through to Reid who grabbed his first goal for the Bees since joining on loan from Plymouth.
However the game was not over as Darlington weathered a storm of Brentford attacks and managed to break away and get a third courtesy of Abbott, who knocked in the ball after Hamer had fumbled.
Attendance: 3508 (Bees fans 311)
Written by David Enstone