Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 24 Mar 12 at 16:57 PM


Clayton Donaldson scored one and played a key part in the other as Brentford ended a run of three straight defeats with a comfortable 2-0 win over Rochdale.

The powerful striker was unplayable at times and was involved in the first, scored by substitute Toumani Diagouraga, before heading in the second.

It was no more than he, and Brentford deserved.

Once The Bees broke the shackles imposed by Rochdale's defensive, and at times cynical, outlook, there was only one winner.

Both teams had efforts on goal in the opening 20 minutes but there was little quality and neither goalkeeper was particularly tested.

Sam Saunders fired a free kick in to a defensive wall and then blazed over while Adam Forshaw shot wide and, at the other end, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Gary Jones missed the target from distance.

Brentford almost broke through when Jonathan Douglas burst towards goal and it took some desperate defending to stop the midfield man and then Saido Berahino getting shots off.

In general, the first quarter of the game was attritional - with Rochdale playing three central midfield players and The Bees using a diamond midfield, the centre of the pitch was incredibly congested and neither team could put together a string of passes.

Brentford had the territorial advantage but Rochdale were happy to have ten men behind the ball so they achieved little.

They were also forced in to an early change when Forshaw had to go off after taking an arm in the face from Marcus Holness and Diagouraga came on.

Brentford almost opened Rochdale up with a simple long ball from Karleigh Osborne - he found Berahino with a raking 60 yard pass and the striker killed it stone dead, unfortunately he slipped when preparing to shoot and fired over.

A few minutes later, however, Douglas picked the lock and Brentford were ahead.

The midfield man received a pass from Shaleum Logan and picked out a delightful through ball to Donaldson, the striker fired a shot that beat David Lucas and cannoned off the far post in to the path of Diagouraga, who slotted home.

Rochdale had appeared happy to take a 0-0 but were now forced to be a bit more expansive.

But it was Brentford who retained the initiative in to half time - Marcus Bean headed straight at Lucas from a fine Jake Bidwell cross and Harlee Dean headed over.

Andrew Tutte missed the target from distance before the break for the visitors, who brought on Sean McConville at half time in an attempt to improve their fortunes.

The substitute and Tutte both fired wide from distance early on but Brentford were on top.

Lucas kept out a drilled Bidwell shot before palming away a Saunders free kick, he was then reliant on Kevin Amankwaah clearing when Osborne met Berahino's cross.

Dean was just unable to head in and Saunders fired a free kick straight at Lucas as Brentford sought the crucial second goal.

Donaldson almost provided it with a looping header that was tipped over and Osborne went close soon after with a header that Holness diverted over his own bar.

Lucas kept out a fierce Berahino shot but minutes later was left helpless as Donaldson expertly looped a header from a fine Saunders cross in to the far corner.

If that just about killed off Rochdale, they showed a few signs of life in the final minutes.

Tutte turned a Joe Widdowson cross inches over the crossbar and Richard Lee, who had been a virtual spectator, saved well at his near post when Akpa Akpro met a Temitope Obadeyi cross.

But Brentford were not to be denied three points and a clean sheet on a sunny afternoon in West London.

Brentford: Lee; Logan, Osborne, Dean, Bidwell; Bean (sub Legge 60 mins), Douglas, Forshaw (sub Diagouraga 26 mins); Saunders; Donaldson, Berahino (sub Morrison 82 mins)

Subs (not used): Moore, Forrester

Rochdale: Lucas; Holness (sub Widdowson 73 mins), Amankwaah, Long, Jordan; Tutte, Kennedy (sub Obadeyi 66 mins), Jones, Barry-Murphy (sub McConville h/t), Akpa Akpro; Symes

Subs (not used): Edwards, Adams

Bookings: Jordan (32 mins)

Attendance: 4,919 (229 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

    Latest Match Reports