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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 28 Feb 11 at 09:01 AM

BRENTFORD 1 BRISTOL ROVERS 0

Gary Alexander's first half penalty was enough to give Brentford a fourth win in five outings.

The Bees continued their upturn in form under interim manager Nicky Forster with a 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers.

The Bees started superbly, playing some incisive and attractive football but Rovers came back into it after falling behind and had the openings to have left Griffin Park with something.

But Brentford's defence held firm and when it was breached, Richard Lee was able to repel the Rovers attacks.

Brentford completely dominated the opening 20 minutes, pinning the visitors back and cutting through them regularly.

There were only two surprises at the end of that period, that The Bees had only scored one and that Rovers will feel they should have opened the scoring.

The visitors had barely had the ball for the first five minutes but a long punt forward caught Brentford out, Will Hoskins got in behind Leon Legge and Lee had to rush out and save with his feet.

But, that aside, Rovers offered almost nothing, and anyone sitting in either the Bees United or Bill Axbey stands was in danger of picking up neck ache for spending so long looking in one direction.

Myles Weston could have opened the scoring when he got in behind and latched on to a Charlie MacDonald pass, the winger waited for a chance to pass or shoot and when he eventually let fly, Conrad Logan saved with his legs.

Legge had the ball in the net moments later from a Sam Saunders corner but it was ruled out for a foul by MacDonald on Logan and the goalkeeper was in action again soon after to save well with his legs again from Weston when the speedy winger picked up a Toumani Diagouraga pass.

Marcus Bean headed wide and Saunders missed the target after cutting in from the left before the goal Brentford had been threatening came just before the 20 minute mark.

Alexander sent Weston away with only Logan to beat and defenders racing after him, a heavy touch took the winger wide but the Rovers goalkeeper brought him down and referee Craig Pawson awarded a penalty, albeit only handing Logan a yellow card.

Alexander stepped up and lashed the ball down the middle to give Brentford the lead.

The game was more even after that, Rovers began to find their sense of adventure and forced a series of corners that The Bees had to defend.

The came close to an equaliser when Hoskins chipped an effort from a tight angle on to the roof of the net before Lee gathered a header from the same man.

MacDonald sliced an attempted chip for Brentford but they had nowhere near the amount of control they started with as half time approached.

Rovers may even have considered themselves to have had the better of the second half of the first period, but they weren't as incisive as their hosts.

Hoskins couldn't force in a Gavin Williams free kick and Chris Lines shot over but it took a fantastic low save from Logan to keep out an Alexander header and prevent them going to the break two down.

And indeed, they should have gone in level - Hoskins volleyed over from close range after Brentford failed to deal with a Gary Sawyer throw in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

The second half started as the first ended, both teams on the attack and openings at either end.

But with the pitch cutting up more and more as the game wore on, it became harder for any sort of passing football to be played.

Logan turned a deflected Saunders effort round the post and from the resulting corner, Legge and Alexander rose together but could only get in each other's way and the chance was wasted.

Hoskins was the man most likely to provide a leveller for the visitors - Lee had to be alert to save when the forward got in behind and shot from the tight angle before Rovers' top scorer headed a Jeff Hughes cross wide from close range when he really should have scored.

Daniel Coles headed wide and Hughes blasted wide at the near post as Rover pressed before Logan held on well to a whipped Saunders free kick.

There were fewer chances as the half wore on, Rovers had the upper hand but Lee was not overworked.

But the Brentford goalkeeper earned his money in the last 15 minutes - he got down low to keep out Hoskins and denied to striker again when he shot from a tight angle.

Alexander had a shot deflected wide for Brentford while Lee was in action again to get down low and keep out a Coles header.

Rovers missed another chance when Rene Howe shot across the face of goal while Nathan Byrne shot wide at the near post at the other end.

The visitors were effectively playing with five up front by the end but Brentford had the late chances.

Diagouraga shot over when well placed and Logan kept out a Saunders shot before the keeper got down low to deny Byrne.

But The Bees didn't need a second to take the points, their first league victory over Bristol Rovers since October 1994.

Brentford: Lee; Neilson, Legge (sub Balkestein 68 mins), Osborne, Woodman; Saunders, Bean (sub O'Connor 59 mins), Diagouraga, Weston (sub Byrne 77 mins); MacDonald, Alexander

Subs (not used): Moore, Grabban, Simpson, Bignall

Bristol Rovers: Logan; Senda (sub Kuffour 83 mins), Ifil, Coles, Sawyer; Williams (sub Reece 88 mins), Kalala, Lines, Hughes; Hoskins, Howe

Subs (not used): Green, Richard, Bolger, Cooper, Davies

Bookings: Lines (16 mins), Logan (18 mins), Sawyer (38 mins)

Attendance: 5,944 (1,103 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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