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Match Report


Posted Sat 28 Jan 12 at 16:58 PM


Gary Alexander scored a perfect hat-trick as Brentford picked up their first win of 2012 in an all-action encounter against Wycombe Wanderers.

The striker, who now has 14 for the season, headed home a Jake Bidwell cross ten minutes in before sliding home a second with his left foot as the Everton loanee put over another cross.

Brentford's top scorer completed the scoring, and his hat-trick, as he blasted home a right foot volley inside the final ten minutes.

That was the best goal of seven on the day as Sam Saunders and Toumani Diagouraga also hit the back of the net.

Dave Winfield, controversially, and Ben Strevens scored for the visitors but they had little answer to Alexander, and Brentford's attacking display.

The Bees hit the bar twice and constantly tested the Wycombe back line as they sealed a 5-2 win.

Both teams had chances in the opening five minutes - mainly from set pieces.

A Saunders free kick was scrambled away before Leon Legge headed another delivery wide while at the other end, Matt Bloomfield's curling set piece landed the wrong side of the far post.

Jonathan Douglas had a shot deflected wide before the visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead.

Stuart Beavon skipped past Legge and found himself with only Richard Lee to beat, the striker took his time but the Brentford goalkeeper stood up strong, saved the first shot and saw the re-bound bounce off the Wycombe man and wide.

Moments later Brentford were ahead and within 20 minutes they had a lead they never lost.

The first goal came when Saunders had a shot blocked and the ball was worked via Clayton Donaldson and Diagouraga to Bidwell, the Everton loanee crossed to the far post and Alexander rose high above Louis Laing to head powerfully home.

That goal knocked the stuffing out of Wycombe and Brentford ran riot for a period while the visitors tinkered with personnel and formations in an attempt to stop the tide.

It took an important block to stop Alexander firing home a short free kick, Marcus Bean had a shot blocked and there were vital tackles from Grant Basey and Laing to stop Donaldson going through.

Wycombe stopper Nikki Bull palmed a misdirected header from James Harper over the bar and Harlee Dean headed wide.

It seemed a matter of time before Brentford scored again and it came when Shaleum Logan raced down the right and fed Donaldson, his cross looked set to reach Alexander before Winfield intervened but Douglas laid it back and Saunders slotted home.

Lee had to scramble away a curling Basey corner but it was still all Brentford.

Douglas had one shot blocked and when it happened again from the next attack, Bidwell picked up the loose ball and fed it across the area for Alexander to slot home.

The visitors regrouped a little after that and had chances to pull a goal back before half time.

Strevens and Beavon had shots blocked before the former headed wide and Bloomfield saw a weak effort cleared away.

Legge headed wide for The Bees, as did Douglas, before a Donaldson shot was deflected in to the side netting.

Lee saved at the feet of Beavon in first half stoppage time, with visiting appeals for a penalty waved away.

But moments in to the second half, Wanderers were back in it as Brentford conceded another disputed goal.

Basey curled over a free kick and, with the assistant referee on the New Road side of the ground holding his flag aloft, Winfield headed in.

The official put his flag straight down and referee Mark Heywood awarded the goal.

But unlike last week - when Huddersfield Town were awarded a goal despite a clear foul on Richard Lee - Wycombe did not build on that.

They did have chances though - Strevens shot wide after Bean was crowded out in midfield, James Harper shot over and Lee saved at the feet of Joel Grant.

The game was incredibly stretched in the second half, Wycombe threw bodies forward seeking a way back in to the game and Brentford tried to exploit the gaps they left.

It made for an exciting last half hour with chances at both ends.

Saunders curled a shot wide for Brentford and then watched as a curling free kick missed everyone and bounced inches wide of the far post.

Douglas faded a shot wide and it took an amazing defensive header from Winfield to prevent Alexander heading home a Saunders cross.

Dean cleared a Grant header and Bloomfield shot wide before Bull reacted well to keep out a fierce Bean shot.

Brentford's fourth came when Wycombe failed to clear a free kick, Alexander's shot was half blocked, Bean turned it back inside and Diagouraga flicked the ball in off the far post.

Beavon had a header saved and it then took a great double save from Lee to deny Wycombe.

First he saved with his legs as Beavon raced away from Legge and then when Grant fired the re-bound goal wards, the Brentford goalkeeper turned it away.

However, from the resulting corner, the ball reached Grant at the far post and his cut back was slotted home by Strevens.

Douglas almost scored a goal to savour when he exchanged passes with Donaldson and fired in a shot with the outside of his right boot that cannoned away off the inside of the post.

But moments later, the woodwork could not save Wycombe.

Alexander fed a ball in behind for Donaldson to run on to, the striker lifted a ball to the far post where his partner raced on to it and fired a volley inside Bull's near post.

Still the game was not done - Basey had a free kick blocked and Bloomfield fired wide before Myles Weston picked up an Alexander lay off and smacked a 25 shot against the crossbar.

Winfield headed wide late on for the visitors but it was his nemesis Alexander who took the plaudits at the end of an enthralling 90 minutes.

Brentford: Lee; Logan, Legge, Dean, Bidwell; Bean, Douglas, Diagouraga; Saunders (sub Weston 80 mins); Alexander, Donaldson

Subs (not used): Moore, Eger, McGinn, Forrester

Bookings: Diagouraga (87 mins) (fourth of season), Dean (90 mins) (second of season)

Wycombe Wanderers: Bull; Foster, Winfield, Laing, Basey; Grant, Harper, Lewis (sub Ainsworth h/t), Bloomfield, Strevens; Beavon

Subs (not used): Rendell, McCoy, Kewley-Graham, McClure

Bookings: Winfield (16 mins), Harper (84 mins)

Attendance: 5,560 (919 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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