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Match Report


Posted Mon 18 Apr 11 at 07:53 AM


Robbie Simpson's late header gave Brentford a fine victory away against promotion-chasing Rochdale.

The on-loan forward scored with ten minutes remaining to five The Bees a deserved win.

They had the better of the chances, possession and territory through most of the game and merited the win.

Both teams were set up to play attacking, entertaining football - the hosts flooded bodies forward from midfield to support lone striker Chris O'Grady while Brentford's wingers Sam Saunders and Myles Weston tested the Rochdale defence.

Brentford started positively and came closest to scoring in the first half, but had it by no means their own way.

The Bees near miss came after 15 minutes when Weston cut in off the right and fired a spectacular right footed effort that beat Owain Fon Williams all ends up but hit the crossbar and bounced down the wrong side of the line as far as the visitors were concerned.

Simon Moore had already saved well from Gary Jones and Will Atkinson shot into the side netting but Brentford had the better of the early chances in an even game.

Karleigh Osborne headed a Saunders corner narrowly wide, Marcus Bean and Simpson had shots blocked and Toumani Diagouraga blazed over after a good run before Weston pulled a shot wide.

Jones had a long range header saved by Moore but Rochdale were largely pushed back, albeit their were able to win free kicks in Brentford territory, many of them down to the benevolence of referee Darren Drysdale.

Pim Balkestein had a header superbly blocked by Craig Dawson and the same man prevented the Dutch defender heading in soon after.

Fon Williams made a fine save from Lewis Grabban after the striker exchanged passes with his partner Simpson before Moore saved from Matt Done.

Jason Kennedy had a shot blocked and Jones blasted wide before Robbie Neilson had an effort blocked at the other end.

Rochdale ended the half well - Balkestein blocked well when Jones burst in to the box and Done shot over.

The Dale could have gone in ahead when Nicky Adams broke from deep, cut in off the right and curled a shot against Moore's post.

The second half started as the first played out - Kevin O'Connor superbly blocked a Jones shot and Grabban had a header saved at the other end.

Diagouraga curled an effort over and Grabban had a shot blocked as Brentford dominated the opening period of the second half.

They came close to an opener when Simpson powerfully met a Saunders corner but Robbie Williams cleared his header off the line.

Rochdale regained the upper hand as the second half reached its midway point - Moore saved well from a Chris O'Grady effort and the same player fired in to the side netting soon after.

Brentford had a great chance with 13 minutes remaining - Bean fed the ball forward and Weston burst in to space, his cross was miss-hit by Grabban on the run and Saunders smashed the loose ball over the bar.

But if The Bees thought their chance had gone, they needn't have worried.

Saunders picked up the ball on the right and floated a long range cross to Simpson, who had pulled in to space on the far post, the striker's powerful header bounced past Fon Williams and in to the net.

And from then on, there was only one winner.

Marcus Holness made an important block from a powerful Weston shot and while Rochdale threw bodies forward, they had no chances of note.

Rochdale: Fon Williams; Wiseman, Dawson, Holness, Williams; Kennedy, Jones; Adams (sub Dickinson 56 mins), Done (sub Akpa Akpro 86 mins), Atkinson (sub Joe Thompson 56 mins); O'Grady

Subs (not used): Edwards, Widdowson, Barry-Murphy, Josh Thompson

Bookings: Jones (66 mins)

Brentford: Moore; O'Connor, Osborne, Balkestein (sub Woodman h/t), Neilson; Saunders (sub Wood 87 mins), Diagouraga, Bean, Weston; Simpson, Grabban

Subs (not used): Royce, Spillane, Byrne, Reed, Schlupp

Bookings: Diagouraga (28 mins) (fourth of season)

Attendance: 2,963

By Chris Wickham

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