Brentford took a massive step towards promotion as they won 1-0 against AFC Bournemouth at Dean Court, despite playing most of the second half with ten men.
Billy Clarke scored the only goal of the game late in the first half and with Brentford the better team for most of that first period it looked like they would go on to win comfortably.
But the game changed early in the second half when Darren Powell and Karleigh Osborne were involved in an altercation and the former was sent off for his part in it - largely thanks to the prompting of Bournemouth midfielder Danny Hollands.
That gave the home side a boost and they had most of the ball for the last half hour, but with Brentford's midfield working like Trojans to protect a brilliant back four the visitors held out, and in truth Ben Hamer had few saves to make.
The first 15 minutes was fairly even - with Marcus Bean heading wide for Brentford while Brett Pitman shot wide for the home side and Hamer saved a weak Steve Fletcher header - but soon the visitors were on top.
Sam Williams and Clarke combined to create a shooting opportunity for Adam Newton but he blasted over from ten yards and Shwan Jalal saved from Clarke soon after.
Alan Bennett volleyed narrowly over as Brentford pressed and Sam Wood shot wide from an angle just before the half hour.
Hamer had to make an important save from Mark Molesley when the wide man found himself clear on the left of the area and David Hunt was well positioned to block the re-bound from Hollands.
And that proved to be more vital when Brentford went ahead four minutes before the break.
Hunt's short throw led to a crossing opportunity which Bournemouth failed to clear, Wood attempted to fire the loose ball home but he slipped and it turned into a great cross which Clarke headed into the top corner.
Hamer saved from a looping Fletcher header minutes later but Brentford could have added to their tally before the break, Bennett was unable to force home a loose ball when Jalal dropped a Hunt corner and the Bournemouth stopper had to be alert to smother at the feet of Wood.
The home side almost levelled early in the second half when Hunt cleared an Anton Robinson shot off the line and Fletcher couldn't force the ball home and that was the proceeded by the dismissal of Powell.
The Bees defender had an exchange of views with Osborne after the ball went dead and, on the advice of an assistant after the intervention of Hollands, referee Gavin Ward dismissed Powell for violent conduct.
Brentford were forced into a re-shuffle with Mark Phillips introduced at the expense of Newton but the re-shaped team proved tough for Bournemouth to break down.
They created few chances - Robinson shot over the bar, Phillips blocked from Hollands and Hamer saved low down from the same man before he shot the re-bound over.
Bean and Bennett produced fine tackles to deny Lee Bradbury and Robinson and Molesley shot over soon after.
Hamer also had to be alert to smother at the feet of Bradbury soon after but he had few tough saves to make.
Mr Ward added five minutes of stoppage time, and played six, as Bournemouth pressed but Brentford held firm and moved four points clear at the top of the table, and closer to League One, as they took the points.
AFC Bournemouth: Jalal; Cooper, Garry (sub Guyett h/t), Pearce, Wiggins; Feeney, Hollands (sub Goulding 77 mins), Cooper, Molesley; Fletcher (sub Bradbury 86 mins), Pitman
Subs (not used): Connell, Cummings
Brentford: Hamer; Osborne, Powell, Bennett, Dickson; Newton (sub Phillips 52 mins), Hunt, Bean, Wood; S. Williams (sub Smith 90 mins), Clarke (sub M. Williams 81 mins)
Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Poole
Attendance: 8,168 (1,786 from Brentford)
Written by Chris Wickham