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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Nov 11 at 14:55 PM


Brentford booked their place in the FA Cup with Budweiser Second Round with a 1-0 win over Basingstoke Town.

Sam Saunders scored the only goal of the afternoon seven minutes in when he curled a free kick he had won himself past Ashley Bayes and in to the top corner from 25 yards.

The Bees started well and at that point looked as if they would stroll through.

But the Blue Square Bet South side got better and better as the game went on and will probably go away feeling they should have earned at least a replay.

The visitors had some early possession but Brentford took control and for much of the first 25 minutes The Bees were in complete control.

The first chance of the afternoon fell to Mike Grella, who saw an acrobatic shot blocked, and it was the first of many in the opening 25 minutes, one of which led to Saunders' goal.

Brentford were completely dominant at that point and for every chance they created, there seemed to be at least as many last-ditch tackles or blocks from the Basingstoke defence.

Shaleum Logan had a shot blocked and Blair Adams lifted a cross-cum-shot over the bar before left back flew down the wing and put in a cross that just eluded Grella.

Basingstoke had a few sights of goal early on - Tim Sills missed the target with a first half header and Toby Little blazed over - but Saunders could have doubled the lead, and his own tally, when he was unable to turn in a Niall McGinn cross.

The visitors grew in to the game and by the half hour were presenting a stern challenge.

Delano Sam-Yorke forced a save out of Richard Lee with a near post shot and Sills did likewise with a curling effort.

Jide Ogunbote had a shot blocked for the non-league side late in the first half but Brentford finished strongly.

Bayes smothered at the feet of Saunders as he tried to reach a Toumani Diagouraga pass and McGinn shot over before Grella was unable to get a shot away when well positioned in the Basingstoke penalty area.

The half ended badly for Brentford when captain Kevin O'Connor crumpled in a heap on the edge of the penalty area with no-one particularly near by and had to be stretchered off with his leg in a brace.

His replacement Marcus Bean almost headed in early in the second only for Stuart Lake to divert Gary Alexander's cross off his head.

Brentford started the second period well - Marcel Eger headed a corner inches over and when Alexander flicked Lee's kick on, Saunders was unable to turn it in.

Basingstoke did, however, come back in to it - Lake diverted a free kick narrowly over and then volleyed wide before Matt Warner, who had crossed for Lake's first chance, sliced a shot wide after a corner was half cleared.

Saunders curled a shot narrowly wide for Brentford and Grella fired straight at Bayes before McGinn blazed wide from a tight angle but the game was tighter than the hosts would have liked.

Basingstoke almost levelled with 18 minutes remaining when Lee punched away a curling Warner free kick, the ball was headed back in to the danger zone, David Pratt nodded it past the Brentford goalkeeper only for Leon Legge to race back and clear the bouncing ball off the line.

Warner had a looping header saved soon after and Saunders curled a free kick straight at Bayes at the other end.

The visitors continued to press - after breaking away when a Bean shot was blocked, Pratt forced a save out of Lee with a low shot and Nathan Smart's follow-up effort was blocked.

From the resulting corner, Sills headed wide from close range and Pratt had another shot blocked soon after.

Shaun McCauley went close for the visitors with a low shot that Lee got down well to save and they threw more and more bodies forward in the later stages.

But they couldn't find a way through and Brentford progressed.

Brentford: Lee; Logan, Eger, Llera (sub Legge 64 mins), Adams; McGinn, O'Connor (sub Bean h/t), Diagouraga, Saunders; Grella (sub Donaldson 78 mins), Alexander

Subs (not used): Devlin, Woodman Weston, Oyeleke

Bookings: Saunders (32 mins) (fourth of season), Bean (71 mins) (second of season)

Basingstoke Town: Bayes; Smart, Rice, Gasson, Little; Ogunbote (sub Gradwell 78 mins), Lake; Sam-Yorke (sub Pratt 39 mins), McCauley, Warner; Sills

Subs (not used): Morris, Dunn, Gondwe, Charlick, Lockyer

Bookings: Sills (90 mins)

Attendance: 3,553 (604 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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