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Match Report


Posted Sat 03 Sep 11 at 16:54 PM


Clayton Donaldson scored the only goal of the game as Brentford picked up three points against Walsall.

The Bees made it two wins in their last two League One games on the road and deserved it after a fine first half hour.

They deserved the lead when Donaldson headed in and did enough defensively to seal the points.

Brentford started superbly, they dominated possession and territory in the opening 30 minutes and had the better of the chances.

Sam Wood, playing as part of a front three, curled an early effort inches over before Marcel Eger headed a floated Jonathan Douglas free kick narrowly wide.

Walsall goalkeeper David Grof had to save at the feet of Myles Weston as he tried to reach a Donaldson lay-off and had to rush out again soon after to take a ball off the head of Marcus Bean.

Kevin O'Connor had a long range effort blocked and Andy Butler made a vital block to prevent Wood finding Donaldson six yards out after a fine move down the right.

Douglas faded an effort just wide and then had a shot blocked before Donaldson lifted an effort over from an offside position.

Brentford's domination eventually paid just before the half hour when, for the umpteenth time, they found space in Walsall's final third.

Weston cut inside Mat Sadler and curled in a fantastic cross for Donaldson to power a header past the helpless Grof.

The home side had offered very little before the goal - Kevan Hurst fired over early on - and although the game was more even after Donaldson's the home side never really looked like pulling level before half time.

Hurst had another shot blocked but the closest Walsall came to an equaliser before the break was when Richard Lee had to scramble across to intercept a strongly hit Karleigh Osborne back pass.

Wood almost got a second for The Bees but his shot cannoned wide off Bean but the visitors went in at half time ahead and deserving in.

They started the second half well too - Bean shot weakly at Grof after a fine move involving Douglas and Donaldson within 25 seconds of the re-start.

They went close soon after when Donaldson got to the by-line and cut the ball back but Weston's effort was blocked and the ball deflected wide.

Brentford appeared to be the team most likely to score, Donaldson slipped and shot wide after fine work by Douglas and when Wood played Douglas in soon after, Manny Smith got across well to block.

Douglas was starting to dominate the game and the midfield man had another effort blocked when a corner was half cleared.

Lee was not completely redundant in the early stages of the second half, as he was in the first, and he superbly tipped a Hurst shot around the post.

Brentford could have sealed it when Wood nodded the ball in to the path of Donaldson but the striker bounced his shot wide from 18 yards.

The home side almost equalised out of nothing when Ryan Jarvis let fly from 30 yards, the ball dipped, swerved and beat Lee all ends up but cannoned to safety off the inside of the post.

That noticeably boosted the home side and they had the better of the last 20 minutes.

Claude Gnakpa had a fierce shot blocked by O'Connor and then pulled an effort wide before Darryl Westlake had an effort blocked and then pulled a shot across the face of goal.

O'Connor and Osborne combined to make an important block from an Alex Nicholls volley but Brentford almost sealed it on the break.

Michael Spillane and Harry Forrester combined on the right to feed Adam Thompson, his cross to the back post was all set for Douglas before Adam Chambers made an important headed clearance and Walsall recovered to block Spillane's follow-up volley.

Smith headed a corner over the top soon after as Walsall pressed for a late leveller and almost got one in stoppage time.

Nicholls burst through when Osborne and Eger collided and it took a fine save from Lee to ensure Brentford took the points.

Walsall: Grof; Westlake, Butler, Smith, Sadler; Nicholls, Chambers, Taundry, Hurst; Macken (sub Gnakpa 52 mins), Jarvis

Subs (not used): Walker, Lancashire, Beevers, Peterlin

Bookings: Nicholls (70 mins)

Brentford: Lee; Thompson, Osborne, Eger, Woodman; Bean, O'Connor, Douglas; Wood (sub Forrester 68 mins), Donaldson (sub Alexander 88 mins), Weston (sub Spillane 76 mins)

Subs (not used): Moore; Grella

Bookings: Spillane (90 mins)

Attendance: 3,972 (430 Bees fans)

By Chris Wickham

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