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Match Report


Posted Mon 20 Feb 12 at 21:38 PM


A brilliant brace from Saido Berahino on his Griffin Park début helped Brentford to a comprehensive win over Carlisle United.

In front of the Sky Sports cameras, The Bees scored four times in 25 minutes either side of half time with Berahino, on loan from West Bromwich Albion, notching two, Harlee Dean scoring his first Brentford goal and Sam Saunders adding to his increasingly impressive 2011/12 goal tally.

The visitors had been well in the game until the first goal but fell apart and could have been on the end of an even bigger beating.

As it was, Brentford's 4-0 win meant they have scored nine in their last two home games and the same amount in three televised games this season.

Brentford should have been ahead inside five minutes when, following a short free kick, Jake Bidwell lifted a ball in to the penalty area and Leon Legge headed over relatively untroubled from eight yards out.

If the defender had hit the target, he would certainly have scored.

That was one of a few early half chances - Adam Collin just beat Clayton Donaldson to a Shaleum Logan pass, Toumani Diagouraga nodded wide and when a long throw was half cleared, no Brentford player could find the finishing touch.

Carlisle arguably had the better of the first 25 minutes, despite Legge's golden chance, playing more of the game in Brentford's half.

The visitors were able to use the flanks to create overlaps, particularly on the right and were dangerous when they could get François Zoko on the ball.

They did not, however, create many chances - Paddy Madden headed over from a Jon-Paul McGovern cross and no Carlisle player could profit when Richard Lee failed to gather a corner.

That came back to haunt them just before the half hour when Brentford took the lead.

It came from a free kick won by Jonathan Douglas on the left, Saunders curled it in and, as Collin inexplicably came out to gather a ball he was never going to get, Dean headed home.

Carlisle could have hit back immediately - Saunders blocked a fierce Liam Noble shot and Paul Thirlwell shot wide at the near post after good work on the left - but they soon disintegrated.

Saunders had a curling shot saved by Collin but did get his name on the score sheet soon after.

Berahino, who had replaced the injured Gary Alexander after the first goal, laid the ball in to the path of Donaldson and although Lubomir Michalik was able to stop the striker, Saunders picked up the loose ball, went round the defender and drilled in a low shot that Collin should probably have kept out but didn't.

And within ten minutes it was three as Brentford scored a goal to savour.

Diagouraga lead the break from the edge of his own penalty area and fed Logan on the right, via Marcus Bean, the cross found Berahino at the far post and he controlled on his chest and drilled a first time shot past the hapless Collin and in to the net.

It probably took less than ten seconds for Brentford to turn defence in to a goal and Carlisle had no answer.

It could have been even better at the interval - Saunders had a curling free kick saved before Brentford failed to profit when another was half cleared and, after more good work by the impressive Berahino, Douglas fired in a shot that Collin saved with his legs.

Brentford were forced in to a second substitution at half time when captain Lee, who took a battering in the first half on more than one occasion, had to be replaced by Simon Moore while Carlisle also took off their captain, Thirlwell, as they sought a way back in to the game.

Moore was immediately in the action, bringing off a superb low save to keep out a Madden shot before holding on to a deflected shot from James Berrett.

But any hopes of a Carlisle comeback were soon quashed by the brilliant Berahino.

Again Brentford broke and Donaldson fed his speedy strike partner, the loanee cut in from the left, feigned, made half a yard and curled an unstoppable shot past Collin from the edge of the penalty area.

From then on, it was just a matter of whether Brentford would score any more.

Legge was unable to turn in a free kick and Saunders had a shot blocked before a superb move involving five Bees players led to a shooting opportunity for Bean that was again blocked by the Carlisle defence.

Dean was unable to turn in a Saunders corner before narrowly failing to turn in a free kick from the same man.

Carlisle almost got themselves on the score sheet when Peter Murphy headed wide and an Andrew Welsh shot was blocked but Brentford ended the stronger.

Berahino almost completed his hat-trick when he picked up a loose ball following a Douglas burst and drilled inches wide before Collin saved a Saunders free kick.

Berahino had a shot saved and then put in a cross that Douglas was just unable to reach and head in before Donaldson turned a Bidwell cross over.

Saunders blasted over from the edge of the box in the dying seconds but Brentford were unable to score five at home for the third time this season and had to settled for four.

Brentford: Lee (sub Moore h/t); Logan (sub Thompson 77 mins), Legge, Dean, Bidwell; Bean, Diagouraga, Douglas; Saunders; Alexander (sub Berahino 29 mins), Donaldson

Subs (not used): McGinn, Weston

Carlisle United: Collin; Simek, Murphy, Michalik (sub Livesey 56 mins), Parker; Noble, Thirlwell (sub Welsh h/t), Berrett; McGovern, Madden, Zoko

Subs (not used): Gillespie, Taiwo, Cook

Bookings: Murphy (78 mins)

Attendance: 4,292 (250 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

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