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Match Report


Posted Tue 18 Aug 09 at 21:43 PM


Brentford made it seven points from their first three League One fixtures as they recorded a 2-1 win over big-spending promotion favourites Norwich City.

After a goalless first half which the visitors slightly shaded Ryan Dickson gave Brentford the lead with a powerful header from a David Hunt long throw six minutes into the second period.

And Hunt himself grabbed the second with a powerful free kick inside the last 20 minutes.

Owain Tudor Jones pulled one back in stoppage time for Norwich but it wasn't enough to deny The Bees.

Although Norwich - who less than 16 years ago were beating Bayern Munich in the Olympic Stadium - had plenty of possession in the first half they were almost shot-less after the break before a late rally almost earned them an undeserved draw.

It could have been different if Norwich - who have taken one point from their first three games after relegation from The Championship - had taken the lead inside the first 20 seconds.

A lofted ball forward from Tudor Jones found Cody McDonald in between the Bees' central defenders but although he was able to control and turn his lofted effort went over the bar.

A similarly lofted effort from Myles Weston landed on top of the net at the other end minutes later while Dickson made a fine tackle to deny McDonald a scoring opportunity soon after.

The game had plenty of early excitement - a Sam Wood shot was deflected inches wide and Simon Whaley shot straight at Price before ten minutes had elapsed.

Mark Phillips headed soon wide soon after and a Sam Saunders free kick hit Wood and flew inches over.

Grant Holt - who cost Norwich a fee believed to be around £400,000 in the summer - should have done better than fire a cross straight at Danny Foster after he slipped past Alan Bennett and Tudor Jones headed over from close range soon after.

McDonald headed wide for the visitors - who announced Paul Lambert as their new manager earlier in the day - and Foster made another vital clearance after Dickson had presented the ball straight to Whaley.

Weston shot over for The Bees, who lost captain Bennett to a groin injury just before the half hour, but Norwich were having the better of it.

Tudor Jones flicked a header across the face of goal and Holt shot straight at Price while Weston looped a header over at the other end.

Saunders curled an effort inches over as Brentford finished the half the stronger and Weston flashed a shot inches wide with Ben Alnwick in the Norwich goal well beaten.

Wes Hoolahan fired a free kick straight at the wall and Holt had an effort blocked just before the break while Wood made an important clearance from inside his own six yard box soon after.

But if the first half was even the first half hour of the second period was all Brentford as they made a mockery of Norwich's wage bill and transfer spending.

The important breakthrough came in the 51st minute when a Hunt long throw caught the Norwich defence napping and Dickson headed powerfully into the corner from eight yards.

After that Brentford grew in confidence and were by far the better team.

Alnwick made a low save from a Wood shot, Saunders flicked wide after good work by Weston and Dickson fired wide.

McDonald almost got in at the other end on a rare Norwich foray forward but Price was quick off his line to avert the danger.

And the second goal Brentford deserved came soon after.

Matt Gill was fortunate not to concede a penalty when he raised his arms on the edge of the box to block a ball forward and a free kick was given when it looked to be inside the box.

But Hunt clinically punished Norwich anyway by drilling the ball through the wall and into the net.

Gill shot wide as Norwich tried to fight back and the visitors had the better of the later stages.

It took a mass of Brentford defenders to deny McDonald after he broke through, substitute Chris Martin volleyed over from eight yards and then forced Price into a low save before Holt headed wide.

Saunders shot over for Brentford and Martin went close again with a low shot that Price got down well to keep out.

The goal Norwich had been threatening came with 90 minutes already up when a Tudor Jones free kick curled past the wall and beat Price.

But that was all Norwich had to show for their evening's work as Brentford took the points.

Brentford: Price; Foster, Bennett (sub Osborne 28 mins), Phillips, Dickson; Saunders (sub Taylor 87 mins), Hunt, O'Connor, Wood; Weston (sub Kabba 76 mins), Cort

Subs (not used): Bull, Franks, Williams, Bean

Norwich City: Alnwick; Spillane (sub Otsemobor 83 mins), Berthal Ashou, Doherty, Drury; Whaley (sub Martin 72 mins), Gill (sub Hughes 75 mins), Tudor Jones, Hoolahan; Holt, McDonald

Subs (not used): Theoklitos, Nelson, Lappin, Maric

Bookings: Holt (81 mins), Hoolahan (90 mins)

Attendance: 7,395 (1,850 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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