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Match Report


Posted Sun 07 Feb 10 at 23:29 PM


Two Charlie MacDonald penalties helped Brentford to a comfortable home win over relegation-threatened Gillingham.

The Bees secured a League One double over the Kent side with three first half goals, the brace from MacDonald and a Myles Weston strike.

With the points all but wrapped up at half time The Bees had no need to over-extend themselves in the second period but they did add a fourth that Weston will try to claim but which may go down as an own goal.

And with Gillingham unable to beat the excellent Wojciech Szczesny the home win was never in doubt.

Gillingham started brightly and would have been disappointed they did not get their noses in front in the first five minutes.

Prolific striker Simeon Jackson had the first sight of goal when he raced onto a long ball but Szczesny superbly turned his low shot on to the post.

The ball was not cleared and Szczesny had to palm a low Andy Barcham shot away at the near post before Tommy Smith made a superb tackle to deny Jackson another shooting opportunity.

Barcham had another header saved as Gillingham dominated the early exchanges but their inability to open the scoring came back to haunt them within minutes.

Darren Dennehy played a suicidal back pass which MacDonald latched on to, he rounded Alan Julian and went down as the goalkeeper reached desperately for the ball.

Referee Pat Miller awarded the penalty but did not punish Julian further - MacDonald did though, firing the penalty low to his right and into the net.

Brentford grew in confidence after the goal and never really looked back, Toumani Diagouraga fired over from a MacDonald lay off and the goal scorer had a shot blocked soon after before Julian tipped a curling Sam Saunders free kick around the post.

MacDonald was proving a menace, another low shot flew inches wide of the near post, but Gillingham also had their danger men - Jackson fired a shot wide and Szczesny saved a curling Jack Payne effort.

Payne had another shot deflected wide soon after but Gillingham pressed the self-destruct button again and the game was over before half time.

The Bees were awarded a second penalty when Diagouraga exchanged passed with John Akinde - who easily shrugged off Josh Gowling, who was sent off as Brentford won at Priestfield on Boxing Day - and tried to find room for a shot, Kevin Maher stuck a leg out and the midfield man went down.

Mr Miller awarded the spot kick and MacDonald placed it high to Julian's left.

Gowling was not finished - a ridiculous over-hit back pass sent Julian scrambling back and although he was able to clear he could only find Weston, who skinned the hapless Gowling and lashed in a third.

Akinde headed wide as half time approached but Gillingham could have pulled one back before the break.

Jackson and James Walker somehow failed to turn in a teasing Barry Fuller cross from close range and Szczesny saved brilliantly again when Jackson nipped in to reach a weak Leon Legge back header and flick an effort towards goal from ten yards.

And they certainly should have scored just after half time - Mark Bentley's looping header was tipped on to the crossbar by the brilliant Szczesny and Walker contrived to shoot the re-bound over from six yards with the whole goal to aim at.

Brentford nearly added a third when Diagouraga surged through the midfield and fed Saunders to his right but the fierce shot was tipped over by Julian.

Jackson had a shot blocked and substitute Luke Rooney pulled a shot wide while Akinde lofted an effort over the bar after turning Gowling.

The fourth came with ten minutes remaining when Diagouraga - who, along with Kevin O'Connor, excelled in the centre of midfield - fed Weston in the inside left channel, his low shot cannoned against the post and then against Julian before rolling in.

Weston raced away to celebrate, and had the goal officially credited to him, but it may go down as a Julian own goal.

That finally killed off the last ounce of fight in Gillingham and with Brentford content the game was won it petered out to Brentford's biggest win for 18 months.

They came close to a last minute fifth when Legge headed an O'Connor corner down but Ben Strevens could not turn it in from close range.

Brentford: Szczesny; Foster, Legge, Smith, Dickson; Saunders (sub Ainsworth 75 mins), O'Connor, Diagouraga, Weston; Akinde (sub Cort 83 mins), MacDonald (sub Strevens 83 mins)

Subs (not used): Moore, Phillips, Hunt, Wood

Gillingham: Julian; Fuller, Dennehy, Gowling. Wynter; Bentley (sub Rooney 59 mins), Payne, Maher, Barcham (sub McCammon 75 mins); Walker (sub Weston 59 mins), Jackson

Subs (not used): Royce, Miller, Jackman, Oli

Bookings: Maher (65 mins), Payne (73 mins), Rooney (77 mins)

Attendance: 6,036 (1,137 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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