Brentford bounced back to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Memories of defeats against Brighton and Hove Albion, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County were banished as John Swift scored twice and Sergi Canós grabbed a goal in a comfortable win at Griffin Park. Wolves came to attack but left themselves open and Brentford ruthlessly exposed it. They merited a lead Swift gave them late in the first half and two second half strikes sealed the win.
The victory could have been more comprehensive. The Bees played some superb football, particularly once they went ahead. Their attacking midfield trio of Canós, Alan Judge and Swift were too much for Wolves to handle. They repeatedly ran at the visitors’ defence, had them turned and racing back towards their own goal and excited the home crowd.
Both teams started the game with an attacking mind-set. Brentford used Canós, Judge and Swift in behind Marco Djuricin and looked to get on the front foot while Wolves started with two strikers and two wingers. It meant the game was relatively open from the start, albeit there were mistakes from both sets of players in the opening exchanges.
The first effort on goal came from The Bees when Djuricin met a corner that dropped loose on the volley but his effort flew high over the bar. David Button saved a Björn Sigurðarson header and then a curling shot from Nathan Byrne while Matt Doherty fired in to the side netting after bursting from deep for the visitors. But when the game started to settle in to a pattern, Brentford were the team in the ascendency. Swift was relishing the space provided by Wolves’ attacking outlook and Canós was popping up left, right and centre to provide support.
Confidence was surging through The Bees and they were starting to create openings with their possession. Wolves were attempting to press but Brentford were playing through and with Jake Bidwell and Nico Yennaris attacking from full back, they had control. Bidwell shot wide after getting on to a Swift lay off before a move involving Canós and Swift led to Judge firing against the outside of the post from 25 yards. Carl Ikeme dived to his right to save from Swift and when the corner came in, Djuricin had a heavy touch and his shot was blocked. But Brentford had the initiative and chances were coming frequently. A Swift cross was returned by Bidwell for Canós but he headed over before a deep Josh McEachran free kick was fed by Judge in to the path of Djuricin but he fired in to the side netting. A lovely move involving Bidwell, McEachran, Swift and Judge in the inside left channel led to Canós shooting low but Ikeme again saved and moments later, when Canós produced a fine run on the right, Djuricin fired over from ten yards.
Brentford’s pressure eventually told six minutes before the break. Judge created the opening with a burst in to the box and he appeared to be fouled by Doherty, referee Charles Breakspear did not whistle but Swift got a shot away that cannoned around, hit Ethan Ebanks-Landell and appeared to bounce back off the head of the Brentford man before ending up in the net. It was not a goal that will be remembered for years to come but one that The Bees deserved.
Djuricin could have made it two before half time when Canós led a breakaway but the striker’s shot deflected over the bar. And it was arguably Wolves who ended the half a little brighter. Button saved from Joe Mason when a free kick was half cleared and Conor Coady had a shot blocked. Button was also called in to action early in the second half when he tipped a low shot from Kevin McDonald around the post.
But that was a rare moment for the visitors after the break. Brentford were playing with confidence, moving the ball well and their front four were linking superbly. Djuricin saw a shot deflect wide after a Yennaris dummy meant a Canós pass fell to the striker and Jack O’Connell headed a corner wide soon after. Brentford’s second goal summed up the confidence they were playing with. Bidwell burst down the right and delivered a first time cross that Judge fed in to Canós, the Spaniard skipped inside Kortney Hause and smashed a shot across Ikeme and in to the corner.
Canós turned and fired just wide soon after and the Spaniard stamped him mark on the game again midway through the half, setting up Brentford’s third. He teased and tormented Hause, getting past the left back and to the by-line before cutting the ball back, Djuricin couldn’t convert but Swift was waiting to slot home. Button saved from Wolves substitute Adam Le Fondre soon after but it was really a matter of how many Brentford would score.
Canós repeatedly got at Hause and when Wolves tried to shut that route off, Brentford used Judge and Swift to exploit other areas. Judge had a shot blocked after good work from Swift and substitutes Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Sam Saunders. Lasse Vibe, Brentford’s third sub, volleyed a Yennaris cross wide after the full back had once again joined the attack and Bidwell came close to a first goal at Griffin Park when he had a shot blocked.
Ikeme prevented O’Connell putting the gloss on the score line, producing a flying save to tip away a powerful header in the dying seconds. But that only prevented salt being rubbed in to Wolves’ wounds and their night was summed up with a late shot from Mason that was high, wide and not very handsome. When Mr Breakspear brought the game to a close seconds later, The Bees had the points.
Brentford: Button; Yennaris, Dean, O’Connell, Bidwell; Woods, McEachran (sub Kerschbaumer 81 mins); Canós (sub Saunders 76 mins), Judge, Swift; Djuricin (sub Vibe 86 mins)
Subs (not used): Bonham, Clarke, Barbet, Hofmann
Bookings: Kerschbaumer (90 mins) (second of season)
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme; Doherty, Batth, Ebanks-Landell, Hause; van La Parra (sub Le Fondre 62 mins), McDonald, Coady, Byrne (sub Saville 62 mins); Mason, Sigurðarson
Subs (not used): Martinez, Rowe, Iorfa, Price, Hunte
Bookings: McDonald (71 mins)
Attendance: 8,769 (938 away fans)