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Match Report

 

Posted Wed 23 Sep 09 at 23:24 PM

BRENTFORD 1 BRISTOL ROVERS 3

A fantastic Charlie MacDonald goal was scant consolation for Brentford, who slipped to their first home defeat of the season as they lost to Bristol Rovers.

The visitors struck three first half goals to condemn The Bees to their first home defeat in the league since March.

Chris Dickson grabbed the headlines with two goals on his début for Rovers but Brentford slipped below the standards they have set over the past year or so.

Their first half showing - particular defensively - was not what they would have hoped for and manager Andy Scott was moved to make two substitutions before half time.

Although Rovers played well they did not have to do much to get a three-goal lead and, in fact, had only been in Brentford's penalty area three times by the 41st minute and were 3-0 up.

Their opener - in the ninth minute - was, as far as Brentford were concerned, too simple - Jo Kuffour picked up a loose ball in midfield and lofted it forward, Dickson out muscled Alan Bennett and lashed it past Lewis Price.

Brentford tried to fight back, and dominated possession, but were two down just before the half hour.

Another long ball forward caught Brentford square and Dickson raced in behind to loft the ball over Lewis Price, caught in no-man's land, and into the net.

The Bees had chances - Mark Phillips fired an acrobatic effort wide and MacDonald shot over under pressure from Danny Coles after good play by Steve Kabba.

Rovers' stopper Mikkel Andersen, who played one game on loan for The Bees last season, saved low from a Kabba header and did well to save from MacDonald after Sam Wood put the forward clear with an incisive pass.

But Brentford's fight back was halted four minutes before the break when Rovers scored a fine goal.

Aaron Lescott got it after he exchanged passes with Jeff Hughes and found Dickson, the striker's return ball found the left back marauding untracked into Brentford's penalty area and he slotted home despite the best efforts of Price.

It was almost four before half time when a Stuart Campbell corner was not cleared and Coles lashed in a shot the Price superbly clawed away.

Kabba had a shot blocked and MacDonald failed to turn home a Cleveland Taylor cross in first half stoppage time but by then David Hunt and Myles Weston had been withdrawn, to be replaced by Marcus Bean and Sam Saunders, such was Scott's unhappiness.

The changes - and the half time team talk - had the desired effect as Brentford were much better after the break and had chances to salvage more than just the one goal.

Dickson shot wide early in the second period, but it was a rare foray forward from the visitors.

Taylor's low shot was saved by Andersen and the keeper was fortunate to stay on ten minutes into the second half.

MacDonald set Kabba free and he nipped between Coles and centre back partner Byron Anthony before rounding Andersen - he was brought down outside the box and Brentford were only awarded a free kick while the keeper escaped with a yellow card.

Saunders free kick was deflected over by Coles and from the wide man's resulting corner Phillips headed down, James Wilson sliced an effort from close range and Andersen saved at the feet of Kabba.

Brentford did get the goal their pressure deserved moments later.

It came out of nothing when MacDonald won a header and as the ball dropped he lashed the ball into the net from 25 yards.

Coles headed wide for Rovers and Mark Wright shot wide but Brentford continued to press - Bean shot over, Taylor had a shot blocked and Saunders forced a fine low save out of Andersen after nice interplay between Kabba and MacDonald.

Chris Lines curled a free kick well over while at the other end Taylor flicked a header wide and Wood shot over.

Rovers brought on an extra midfield player with 15 minutes remaining and it succeeded in shutting the game down.

Taylor headed wide late on and then fired an acrobatic effort over before Phillips steered a volley wide.

But Brentford could not find the second goal to set up a grandstand finish and third-placed Rovers left with the points.

Brentford: Price; Wilson, Bennett, Phillips, Wood; Taylor, Hunt (sub Bean 44 mins), O'Connor, Weston (sub Saunders 44 mins); Kabba, MacDonald

Subs (not used): Bull, Osborne, Blake, Ferrell, Foster

Bristol Rovers: Andersen; Regan, Coles, Anthony, Lescott; Wright, Lines, Campbell, Hughes; Kuffour (sub Blizzard 75 mins), Dickson (sub Williams 64 mins)

Subs (not used): Evans, Elliott, Duffy, Reece, Swallow

Bookings: Andersen (54 mins)

Attendance: 6,528

By Chris Wickham

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